Dealing With Opposition Prov. 25:9 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The Bible gives us clear instructions on how to deal with opposition. You never know, when you first start to point out a scriptural problem, whether the individual is going to receive correction or not. So when you begin to deal with opposition, it is always helpful to know how to deal with opposition so that you don’t get into strife and contention.
Make sure you’re right – Prov 29:20; Prov 18:13 – before you confront somebody you think is in opposition to you, you’d better be absolutely sure you are not the one at fault. If you aren’t sure where you stand, then listen carefully to your “opponent’s” side of the story before you jump in there trying to straighten him out. You can save yourself lots of embarrassment.
Take it directly to the person – Prov 25:9-10 – this passage goes with Matt 18:15-17. When you are dealing with opposition, go first to the person with whom you’re having the problem. People have a hard time with confrontation, but eye to eye and face to face is the Biblical way to deal with a problem. Don’t you dare air it out with someone else. You’ll be guilty of sowing discord among brethren [Prov 6:19].
Stick with the truth – 2 Tim 2:25-26 – a person who in in error must acknowledge the truth, if they will. It is the truth that makes you free [Jn 8:32]. The best thing to do is to get the Bible open in front of a person and give him the Biblical explanation for or definition of his error. Give him plenty of time to “digest” the passage, to ask questions for clarification and to comment if need be. If he understands and receives the verse or passage, then take him to another verse or passage, if need be, to help him “see” the truth. If he doesn’t receive the truth, then you are done. No sense getting into an argument, because the matter will just get worse. We don’t usually overwhelm a person with the truth if he is receiving it, unless he really wants more. We’ll let him have some space and time to think it over. We can always get together another time and go over more scripture when he is ready.
Keep it short and simple – Prov 17:27 – the short answer is always the best answer. If you know what you’re talking about you do not need to elaborate; you’ll only arm your opponent with ammunition to use against you. Get to the point and stick to the point.
Walk away from fools – Prov 14:7 – if you are dealing with a fool, you will know it because he won’t know what he’s talking about. You are absolutely wasting your time if you think you’re going correct a person who is a fool [Prov 17:10]. You can’t do it. If you go to forums and comments trying to straighten out fools, you will end up just like the fools you’re trying to straighten out [Prov 26:4]. If the fellow is a heretic and he simply wants to argue positions, follow Titus 3:10. We have no problem letting a fellow go on in his ignorance if he doesn’t want the truth from God’s words [1 Cor 14:38].
Don’t even start with scorners – Prov 9:7-8 – he may say that he’s interested in hearing what you have to say, but don’t believe him. When he hears wisdom, knowledge or truth he just rejects it [Prov 14:6]. I have known some sons of friends who are scorners. And their sons “hate” their parents for trying to straighten them out [Prov 15:12]. When you deal with opposition coming from a scorner, he only becomes more resolved in his error.
Stay out of others’ business – Prov 26:17 – if you see two men opposed to each other, don’t get involved in trying to help them sort it out, unless you want to be the one who gets hurt. Hockey referees stay out of the fights until the two men fighting are worn out. They don’t want to get hit. Follow Paul’s advice in 2 Thes 3:11-12 and don’t be a busy-body.
Conclusion: these are simple, scriptural ways to deal with opposition. There are other things you can add to this list. However, these simple principles will be a real help to you if you will follow them.