Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Foolish Arguments

Apparently, I like to fight with children. It's not the standard arguments you would think of either. "Clean your room" or  "Do your homework" are not what I am referring to. I find myself engaging in the simple "these are the facts" kind of arguments. I answer 4 to the question, "What is 2 + 2?" The child insists it is 5. The grass is green. The sky is blue. Vegetables are healthier for you than Oreos. It doesn't matter what the truth is. The kids insist on being right.

For some reason, I feel it of the utmost importance to convince little children that I know the truth. After all, I am older and wiser. Or am I? At times, our argument will go on for an extended period of time before the light bulb goes off in my head. What am I doing arguing with a 3-year-old? The bottom line is that I am right. The truth is simply the truth. At some point, they will learn the truth. Arguing with them is not going to convince them. These types of arguments are foolish.

My fourth grader came home today and informed me that she and her friends had a discussion on evolving. Her friends told her that we came from apes. She said, "Umm... no we didn't." "Yes, we did," they responded. This went on a few times before she informed me that she just walked away.

"I was the only one who didn't think we came from apes, mom". I told her how smart I thought she was for walking away. Arguing with her friends was not going to convince them of the truth. They will only accept the truth when they are ready to believe. No amount of arguing is going to convince this. I told her I thought it was great that she spoke the truth. Had they been willing to listen, it could have opened up a whole world of conversations. It was encouraging to hear that my daughter was bold enough to speak up for the truth and wise enough to walk away from the foolish argument.

A day from my teenage years quickly popped into my head during my daughter's conversation. One day during my high school Biology class, the teacher asked who believed in creation. I quickly raised my hand. As I scanned the room, I was the only one with my hand raised. The only one. It shocked me. How could I be the only one that believed in a Creator?

I went home visibly upset that day and passionately shared the account with my parents. The next morning, I found a note from my dad on the bathroom counter. He asked me what people would rather see when someone talks about God. He had a picture of a smiley face and one that was angry. Along with these, he listed the lyrics to "My Faith has Found a Resting Place". These words continue to pop into my head when my faith is questioned.

My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device or creed;
I trust the ever living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.

I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.

Enough for me that Jesus saves,
This ends my fear and doubt;
A sinful soul I come to Him,
He’ll never cast me out.


My heart is leaning on the Word,
The living Word of God,
Salvation by my Savior’s Name,
Salvation through His blood.


My great Physician heals the sick,
The lost He came to save;
For me His precious blood He shed,
For me His life He gave.

I do believe we are to be bold for Christ. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 2:7) Jesus died on the cross for us. He wasn't ashamed of us... so much so that he was shamed for us. Why, oh why, are we so ashamed to stand with Him?

While we need to give answers for the hope that we have, it does no good to argue until we are blue in the face. Few, if any, are convinced in this fashion. "Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful." (2 Timothy 2:23-24)

The truth is that God sent His only Son into the world to die on a tree for my sins. It is because of his blood and resurrection that I am able to spend eternity in Heaven. "I need no other argument. I need no other plea. It is enough that Jesus died. And that He died for me."

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