"You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth." (2 Timothy 2:25, The Message).
Tit for Tat -- that seems to be the standard operating procedure for today's divided world. We live in the midst of an embattled and embittered population, polarized by strongly held opinions and cauterized by spiteful arguments and endless shouting matches as each side tries to prove to the other why one is right and the other wrong.
Today's verse is inviting us to raise the bar in our own life and be done with pointless arguments and strife. By taking the high road in moral debates, and listening respectfully to what others truly think, feel and believe; and by keeping a cool head when expressing your own thoughts and ideas -- you just never know what God might do.
So refuse to get involved in inane discussions that always end up in fights. Instead, become a servant -- God's servant -- and steer clear from becoming argumentative.
Even though there are plenty of models for the argumentative style displayed on the various television networks, and even though this worldly spirit has found a place in many of today's pulpits, passing itself off in the guise of "apologetics" -- this is not what the Lord wants us to be: combative, beligierent, self-exalting know-it-alls.
Rather, He tells us that by being winsome, we just might win some.
"Be a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil's trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands." (2Ti 2:23-26).
Be winsome, and you just might win some.