Read 2 Timothy 2:14-19 to see why we must carefully choose our words when responding to others.
How can we discern the difference between a nonessential issue regarding faith and a false doctrine? How should we respond to those who create dissension over doctrinal issues in the body of Christ?
Spam email. It’s the frustrating downside of being able to send an instant letter anywhere in the world. I’ve grown somewhat accustomed to the high rate of spam that enters my published email address, and a series of carefully constructed filters helps to skim off any offensive ones. I found it a little humorous, though, when my school email account—which runs through a very restrictive filter—managed to pull in a few spam emails, none of which I’m able to read because they’re written in another language!
From the nonstop availability of the Internet, to the constant communication via cell phones, we rarely find a moment for our brains to rest. Sometimes the church can be a very noisy place as well. Addressing varied voices in His day, Jesus makes the point that His sheep know His voice (John 10:4,14). Implicit in His teaching is the idea that only those who are willing to follow His lead will be able to discern when He’s speaking.
“Spam” in the body of Christ can encompass more than the blustering, legalistic wrangling of a Pharisaic mindset—such as that which Jesus addressed often in His ministry. Jude also impressed upon those in the early church to “defend the faith” (Jude 1:3) by weeding out the self-motivated false doctrines of those who claimed, “God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives” (v.4). And Paul warned about those who set out to “cause divisions and upset people’s faith” through their “smooth talk and glowing words” (Romans 16:17-18).
Because deception is present even in the body of Christ (1 John 4:1-6), our hearts must be filled with the Word. Only then can we discern between those ideas which are worth responding to and those fit only for the trash.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Proverbs 4:1-27
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