Since I know that the devil is a professional time waster and he will send others into your pathway to do his bidding, I know well enough when to stay out of a fight. I refuse to get into a religious argument or debate with someone. I don’t have any problems voicing my beliefs, especially when someone asks or if the Holy Spirit gives me a direct command to do so. I have no issues in standing up for what is right. I also know that we must to do it in love, and I will admit that sometimes that is difficult to do. Sometimes it is just plain difficult to remember that God loves them too…even the ones that are being stinky.
My grandfather was a minister before God called him home in 2003. I remember two wise things he once told me. The first was that it is foolishness to get into a religious argument with someone because when all is said and done, neither of you will have changed the other’s opinion, but it will often lead to hostility and words that are later regretted. The second thing was, “Never argue with a fool because the bystanders can’t tell the difference.” Understand, that is not the same as defending your beliefs, because we are called to do just that. 1 Peter 3:13-17 says:
13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?
14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.
17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. (NKJV)
Notice the key words that we are to do this in meekness and with a good conscience. It says nothing about you doing it for your own defense or out of anger. There are always going to be people who assail you, and often wrongly. There are those who are just stupid and foolish. There are those who are time wasters…sometimes even good, well-intentioned brothers and sisters who end up eroding your time on trivial things that should be spent on something else.