Some years ago cards were written that were to be used for sharing the faith with friends and family. I remember the outside of the card more than the inside. It said, “Because I care…” Why do we tell people about Jesus? Because we care about them. Love moves us to step past our discomfort or even past the lines of their comfort to share the things we feel are important.
Now, I know that is used as an excuse for all kinds of legalistic judgments. “Because I love you I want to put you under condemnation and into bondage.” Well, maybe it isn’t that honest. But the misuse of love as a motive does not negate it as an appropriate motive. I have been attacked by people who disagree with me “in love.” I doubted that love was the motivation. It seemed much more that they wanted to defend their own way of thinking. They wanted to “straighten me out.” It wasn’t love.
Yes, there are risks to this. But there is more to love’s motivation than a single person when the error comes from a teacher. What about love for all those who are being taught? Is there no responsibility or desire to protect them from the error? Because of love, we have to say something. If we do not, it appears that we agree with the teacher. At least we don’t see an error worth correcting in the teaching. Love seems to be a right motive for saying something.
On one hand, we don’t want present ourselves as superior or become judgmental toward others. On the other, we care about them and want them to find joy and avoid error. Most of us become uncomfortable when we hear error, but are stymied by this dilemma. So we don’t say anything.
Help me out on this. What do you think?
4 responses to “Because of Love”
Bottomline? We each, that walk in Christ, know Truth; we also KNOW
when we are racing in our mind, and when The Lord is answering
the situation. When I’ve been experiencing ‘listening skills-training’, I listen long before I speak. You are a trainer/discipler….you know when someone is retorting rather than extending the love of Christ
into a false teaching. Correction, as Paul did with Peter, needs not
only love, but God’s presence in the Truth…Rhema Word with God’s Agape love. I might ask the speaker if we could discuss this later so
as not to harm ‘the faithful’ who might be listening. Confrontation with a speaking person better be met with God’s wisdom of timing, Truth and love, otherwise we undermine the Holy Spirit’s correction. Thanks Dave. kay
Great response! Humility, patience, kindness, deference, love – these are all things we need every day, but especially when we feel led to confront someone. After all, there’s always the chance that I may be wrong when I am correcting. 😉 And the leading of the Lord. Why even step in it if the Lord is not leading???
And, much of the time when I am jamming/chomping at the bit to
straighten someone out, the Holy Spirit exits and leaves it to me.
His presence gone is chastisement enough. Now, I listen for Truth, not listening for missed truth. Kinda like 🙂 when beginning employment with a bank and they show you the true currency for months, then when they slip in a fake, you know it for sure FAST. That’s when I am sure that the Lord probably didn’t send me to set someone straight….maybe that is someone’s gift/talent, but it is not mine and I know it. I would have to be ‘knocked off a steed’ and the Lord blind me with His Light Presence before I’d think so highly of my (self). So I listen with ears of grace and truth; then, and only then, IF I am to attend to one of the twisted or mal-interpreted scripture, the Lord will lead, TAKE me, to draw the person into helping me understand what I could have missed or the Lord does it without
my participation at all.
Dave, you have so many experiences, and I hear (backlashes), we
all can learn from you. Thanks again. Kay
Thank you Dave, for sharing another insightful article that is rich in Father’s truth. In today’s spiritual climate within much of the church, standing firm in the truth and exposing lies, is often considered hateful, divisive or “religious”. Yet there are times when we are called to stand firm in the faith and the clearly revealed truths of the gospel. Though there are many areas of theological or doctrinal difference which call us to walk in unity despite differences, when the essentials of the gospel are being threatened by misled leaders who are often either sociopathic and/or narcissistic, it points to living in dark times. It is written, “having nothing to do with the deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Not a popular calling in our day and age! .. yet this is walking in the authentic love and grace of Jesus. Thanks Dave, for being one of those teachers who stand out for His grace & truth.