Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Downside of Contention

Reminder to Self: 
Great wisdom is generous;
petty wisdom is contentious.
Great speech is impassioned;
small speech is cantankerous.
~  Chuang-Tzu
With the season of contention well underway in the run-up to presidential elections here in the U.S., I am ever so mindful of the skillful and often times deploring contentiousness afoot (or, rather, atongue).  I find myself wondering if contending must include so many uncivil, caustic, slanderous and mean-spirited diatribes?
I think I've answered my own question.

Contentious:  exhibiting an often perverse and
wearisome tendency to quarrels and disputes
Contend:  to strive or vie in contest or rivalry
or against difficulties : to struggle
Imagine, if you will, what would happen if believers were to use the former tactic in lieu of the latter (and, unfortunately, it happens way too much).  How in thunderation would God's Good News be considered such?
All I know is that I'm getting daily object lessons about why one works and one doesn't.
Oh to be generous, wise & impassioned ... 
He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and
teaching everyone with all wisdom,
so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 
To this end I strenuously contend with all
the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. 
~ Colossians 1:28-29
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write
to you about the salvation we share,
I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend
for the faith that was once for all entrusted
to God’s holy people. 
For certain individuals whose condemnation
was written about long ago have secretly
slipped in among you. They are ungodly people,
who pervert the grace of our God into
a license for immorality and deny
Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. ~
~ Jude 3-4


Denise said...

Thanks for sharing this.

Saleslady371 said...

When we know these differences I think it bothers us all the more. It is almost like the world expects the bullying interpreting it as strength and we know better when we study these scriptures.

Colleen said...

I also wish and pray to be wise, generous and impassioned although I am not quite there yet. I appreciate when others are this way and try to avoid more contentious people. I really love the quote at the beginning of this post! Thank you for sharing and have a blessed day!

myletterstoemily said...

i'm trying very hard to not talk anymore.
just pray and let the Lord fight this
battle . . . until i vote, anyway.

Betty said...

Oh to be generous, wise & impassioned...good phrase prayer.

Great post for this time when one of the most important election is coming up. My heart sink at the thought the one I will vote for will not get in. Then I remember it is God who sits up the Kings, like Saul for His purpose.

Yes, yes, yes, lets contend for our faith...Blessings.

Just a little something from Judy said...

I pray that my speech be filled with tactfulness and grace, and that is only possible through Him. Thought provoking and so true.

Debbie Petras said...

You always seem to challenge us to think Kathleen. And that is a good thing. I want to contend for the faith and not be contentious. I even tire listening to some people. I want to be a light to others who don't know Him yet. And they don't want what I have if I'm so contentious. Ha, did I use the verb correctly?

Love you,