“Of these things put them in remembrance, 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).
1) “…strive not about words”. Why so anxious to contend and vigorous to engage in petty arguments about doctrine and religion?
“Those that are disposed to strive commonly strive about matters of very small moment. Strifes of words are very destructive to the things of God. That they strive not about words to no profit. If people did but consider of what little use most of the controversies in religion are, they would not be so zealous in their strifes of words, to the subverting of the hearers” (Matthew Henry)
So what is the profit we should be engaging in? The greatest profit of them all is the Christian love, the love ascribed and taught by Jesus Christ. Love is probably best described in 1 Corinthians 13. Within the narrative of what love is, the main point that is driven home in the chapter is that we as human beings are literally nothing without the love which is God.
2) “…but to the subverting of the hearers”. The Greek word for “subverting” is “Katastrophe”. It’s where we get the word catastrophe. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary catastrophe means a, “momentous tragic event ranging from extreme misfortune to utter overthrow or ruin”.
3) Words are the most powerful things we have. They are filled with a spirit, but which spirit is determined by us. Are our words filled with the spirit of “Katastrophe”, loaded with the potential to ruin a brother or sister in Christ? It’s a terrible thing to win the religious debate but lose a soul in the process.
Are our words filled with the Holy Spirit as God intended them to be? The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, peace and joy.
Our words are to be full of grace which minister to the hearer. Our job is to love, uplift and edify other people and not be the cause of a “Katastrophe”.