Distinguishing Marks of a Quarrelsome Person
Hot-headed, divisive Christians are not pleasing to God (Proverbs 6:19). We are told to drive them out (22:10) and avoid such people (Rom. 16:17). This doesn’t mean we only huddle with the people we like. We are not talking about awkward folks or those who disagree with us. We are talking about quarrelsome Christians–habitually disagreeable, divisive, hot-headed church people.
This is an important issue for churches today. Seems we have a lot of churches unable to break out because of relational difficulty. Maybe partly because our generation doesn’t do well with anything that’s hard and requires commitment, like relationships that delve below the surface. And that’s what God desires. It’s easier to just go somewhere else. But discerning when someone is being divisive and quarrelsome is something we must do and determining whether I am the quarrelsome person who is hurting the cause of Christ. I thought this list by Kevin DeYoung was helpful. Read the whole post here.
So what does a quarrelsome person look like? What are his (or her) distinguishing marks?
- You defend every conviction with the same degree of intensity. You don’t talk about secondary issues, because there are no secondary issues.
- You are quick to speak and slow to listen. You rarely ask questions and when you do it is to accuse or to continue prosecuting your case. You are not looking to learn, you are looking to defend, dominate, and destroy.
- You are incapable of seeing nuances and you do not believe in qualifying statements.
- You never give the benefit of the doubt. You do not try to read arguments in context. You put the worst possible construct on other’s motives and the meaning of their words.
- You have no unarticulated opinions.
- You are unable to sympathize with your opponents.
- Your first instinct is to criticize. Your last is to encourage.
- You have a small grid and everything fits in it. Everything is a social justice issue; everything relates to the regulative principle, everything is Obama’s fault; everything is wrong because of patriarchy; everything comes down to one thing–my thing.
- You derive a sense of satisfaction and spiritual safety in being rejected and marginalized. You are constitutionally unable to be demonstrably fruitful in ministry and you will never affirm those who appear to be. You only know how to relate to God as a remnant.
- You are always in the trenches with hand grenades strapped to your chest, never in the mess hall with ice cream and ping pong.
- You have never changed your mind on an important matter.
Doing the opposite of this list will help us go deeper with God and others in the body of Christ and reproduce less people who don’t go to church anymore, because of how Christians treat each other.