Thursday, April 29, 2010
Contending with Care
Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
I remember walking down Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki and seeing a man holding a big sign with red flames and the words, "The wages of sin is death." He was yelling out to people, "God hates you! God is going to judge you! God is going to get you!" I watched as people passed by, intentionally turning away from him.
Finally, I walked up to him and said, "Excuse me, I have a question. I just wanted to say that while it is true that the wages of sin is death, as your placard says so boldly, it is also true that the rest of that verse says the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Why don't you put that on the other side of your placard, and you could flip it around periodically? You could give them the whole message."
The man then told me that I was going to hell. He was intent on delivering a certain degree of truth in a contentious way.
When we read in Jude 3 that we are to contend for the faith, it doesn't mean that we are to assault with the truth. It doesn't mean we are to bludgeon people with it. The word "contend" in this verse actually speaks of delivering the truth, but doing so in a loving manner. The Bible tells us to speak the truth in love, which means professing God's truth in a loving way.
It is important to know your theology and to know what the Bible teaches. But it is also so very important to just love people. If we can find the balance of lovingly presenting truth, it will be a powerful combination.
Copyright © 2010 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
- This life will have its sorrows
- God loves us
- Jesus weeps in our times of pain
- God can be glorified through human suffering
Hope for Hurting Hearts, Pastor Greg Laurie's new book, examines these truths, revealing God's love and care for us, and shows how we can find hope, even in the midst of the most unbearable pain and sorrow.