Why Christians Must Be Contentious
Christians are, in many respects, both-and people. We live much of life in this age in a God-designed tension. We must learn how to both encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11) and rebuke one another (Titus 1:13). We must both rejoice and weep with one another — sometimes within minutes (Romans 12:15). We must live simultaneously as both sorrowful and rejoicing (2 Corinthians 6:10). We must live contentedly in both abundance and need (Philippians 4:12).
Whoa, contentious? Isn’t that bad? Well, at certain times and in certain ways, yes, contentiousness is very bad. But at certain times and in certain ways, it is very good. It depends on what kind of contentiousness we’re talking about. And the Bible speaks to the good and the bad.
An Old Testament example of a similar kind is seen here: “It is better to live in a corner of the roof than in a house shared with a contentious woman” (Proverbs 25:24, NASB). The Hebrew word is mādônîm, and it means quarrelsome, nagging, or dissentious. It can even have violent connotations, which is why the King James translators called her a “brawling woman.”
These are bad ways to be contentious. They are not to characterize a Christian, because “the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome (machesthai, another Greek word in this vein) but kind to everyone” (2 Timothy 2:24).
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Source: Jon Bloom | Desiring God