Loving Disputes

“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5 ESV).

The charge to which Paul refers is the confrontation of those in doctrinal error. Love was the driving motive behind the need to dispute what was being taught. His instruction highlights a principle that applies to more than just matters of faith. We ought to approach all disagreements from a posture of love. But many times instead of having loving disputes, we love disputes. We revel in the controversy and the confrontation. We want to be right and force our opinion at the expense of others and the relationship. Instead of listening to what the other person is actually saying, we listen for what will support our position. That’s not a posture that will get the results we want. Nor is it consistent with a pure heart, a good conscience, or a sincere faith.