Morning, November 19, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Avoid foolish controversies.” — Titus 3:9
Our days are few, and are far better spent in doing good, than in disputing over matters which are, at best, of minor importance. The medieval theologians did a world of mischief by their incessant discussion of subjects of no practical importance; and our Churches suffer much from petty wars over abstruse points and unimportant questions. After everything has been said that can be said, neither party is any the wiser, and therefore the discussion no more promotes knowledge than it does love, and it is foolish to sow in so barren a field. Fielding questions upon points where Scripture is silent; upon mysteries which belong to God alone; upon prophecies of doubtful interpretation; and upon mere modes of observing human ceremony, are all foolish, and wise men avoid them. Our business is neither to ask nor answer foolish questions, but to avoid them altogether; and if we observe the apostle’s precept (Titus 3:8) to be careful to maintain good works, we shall find ourselves far too much occupied with profitable business to take much interest in unworthy, contentious, and needless strivings.
There are, however, some questions which are the reverse of foolish, which we must not avoid, but fairly and honestly meet, such as these: Do I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? Am I renewed in the spirit of my mind? Am I walking not after the flesh, but after the Spirit? Am I growing in grace? Does my conversation enhance the doctrine of God my Savior? Am I looking for the coming of the Lord, and watching as a servant should do who expects his master? What more can I do for Jesus? Such inquiries as these urgently demand our attention; and if we have been at all given to quarreling, let us now turn our critical abilities to a service so much more profitable. Let us be peace-makers, and endeavor to lead others both by our precept and example, to “avoid foolish controversies.”