The word argument usually carries negative emotions with it. When we are presenting our opinion about something we are passionate about, our emotions can take over. We get upset if the other party doesn't see things the way we do. If we are not careful, soon we are yelling at each other. My Dad used to say if you raise your voice and start yelling, you have already lost the argument. At that point, an argument turns into a fight where you are closed off and on the defensive. You no longer can hear what the other person is saying because you are protecting your point of view. That is not the kind of argument we want to participate in with anyone, especially with God.
However, some research suggests that arguing, when it is done right, can be beneficial to you and the health of your relationships. Arguments force you to think on your feet to present your opinions in a way that will be understood by another. They are also an opportunity to gain awareness and perspective of someone else option.
In Isaiah 1:18, God invites us to "reason together" with Him. Other translations of this word discuss this, settle the matter, deliberate, and argue. One of the definitions for argument, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, is a coherent series of reasons, statements, or facts intended to support or establish a point of view. This is the type of argument that a lawyer gives in a courtroom.
There are various times in the Bible that God allowed man to argue with Him.
In Genesis 18:23-32, Abraham deliberated with God over the fate of Sodom and Gomora. Moses debated God over his calling and over God killing off the Israelites.(Exodus 4:1-7 & Exodus 32:11-13), Isaiah 43:26, God invites his people to argue their case so they can be proved right. They didn't have a case, but the point is God was willing to let them present one. He is not afraid of arguing with us.
Is it possible to win an argument with God? Abraham did, Moses did, and in 2 Kings 20, Hezekiah did. So, yes, it is possible.
There are several things to remember when you decide to reason together with God.
- Most important, remember He is God. Be humble but confident in who you are. Come to this discussion knowing you are only allowed in His presence because of the blood of Jesus.
- You need to know and understand His character. Most arguments come because we don't know the other person.
- Get to know your covenant rights and privileges.
- Make sure it is something that can be debated. Know your facts from the Bible (example-forgiving someone is not up for debate)
- Be open to hear what He has to say.
- Stay calm. Take a time out if you start to lose your peace. You can always revisit this.
- The last word on the subject belongs to God, not you. Because, well, He is God.
God created us with a brain that has the ability to think and reason. He expects you to use it. He is not afraid of your arguments. In fact, He welcomes them. Since He is God, He already knows but, He wants a relationship with you. As long as you are humble and respectful in presenting your thoughts, you will be okay. He values your opinions and is interested in your reasoning.
I've had a few arguments with God. Have I won?
Yes, because every time, I've learned more about Him and myself. Our relationship grew richer with those discussions. My faith and trust grew as I learned to look at a situation from His standpoint. In the end, it is not about winning or losing. It is about the interaction between a loving Father and his child, me.
How about you?
Have you ever argued with God?
How did that work for you?