But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. (Titus 3:9)
In this portion of Paul’s letter to Titus, he reminded his younger co-worker of several different things. With these words, he reminded Titus to focus on the things that matter, to not get distracted with foolish disputes and things that are unprofitable and useless.
This is actually something that was important to Paul. Several times he warned Timothy and Titus about the danger of focusing on foolish disputes and arguments:
He is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions. (1 Timothy 6:4)
Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. (2 Timothy 2:14)
But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. (2 Timothy 2:23)
Don’t Get Tangled Up
In our social media age, it seems easier than ever for God’s people to get caught up in the web of foolish disputes and contentions and things that are unprofitable and useless. We need to pray – a lot – for the wisdom to stay out of those distracting arguments that really don’t accomplish anything.
The church must stand for the truth, but it must not become just another debating society. We have bigger and more important things to talk about than many of the arguments that the culture fights over. We can get so worked up over things that actually have little more purpose or reason than to win the argument.
According to one writer, the word Paul use for “avoid” in the phrase avoid foolish disputes literally means to turn and face the other way. We should turn our back to such useless arguing and keep our focus on God’s Word.