Strive Not About Words
by Henry Morris III, D.Min.
"Of these things put them in rememberance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers." (2 Timothy 2:14)
This command emphasizes the necessity to avoid "word fights." The apostle Paul has much to say about this in other passages. "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers" (Ephesians 4:29). Our words should be "wholesome words" (1 Timothy 6:3), "that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Corinthians 1:10).
We are not to "give heed to fables and endless genealogies" (1 Timothy 1:4), but are to "refuse profane and old wives' fables" (1 Timothy 4:7). We are not to listen to "commandments of men, that turn from the truth" (Titus 1:14), and we must "avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law" (Titus 3:9), "knowing that they do gender strifes" (2 Timothy 2:23).
According to 1 Timothy 6:4-5, those who love "word fights" are "proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words." Such a person is a "questionaholic." Here is a short list of the biblical warnings about such fights.
It brings ill will toward others; wrangling; bickering.
It produces "railing" defamation or dishonor of others.
It encourages private plots to hurt.
It produces an incessant meddlesomeness.
It ends up rotting the intellect and robbing truth.
It equates personal gain with godliness.
May God protect us from those who are driven to strive "about words to no profit." May God increase our love for "acceptable words; and that which is written, upright, even words of truth" (Ecclesiastes 12:10). HMM III