Thursday, November 06, 2008

love confronts

Jesus told us to turn the other cheek, but when someone slapped him at his trial before his crucifixion, he asked why he had been slapped if he had said nothing wrong. There is a time for both love and truth in Jesus, in the need to confront others. But we need to do so in love, in the love of Jesus.

It is hard, and while we may be upset for the moment, it's easier just to write the other person off and seek afterward to avoid them. But God calls us to confront them in love. This calls for much prayer on our part, both for ourselves as well as for the person we're confronting. We do so in the hope that God will have mercy on them, and restore them into a right relationship with God and with ourselves.

There is nothing easy about this, and I for one have little stomach for it. On the other hand, if we aren't open to needed rebuke ourselves, or able to help others in that way, an important ingredient for change is out of the mix. Maybe we have to be more subtle nowadays in how we do it. Maybe we have to be like Nathan who told King David a story to help him see and confess the great sin he committed. I wonder if my approach is too quick the few times I've done it, with not enough prayer ahead of time, and if it would be more beneficial for me to take a more subtle and less direct approach. But sometimes one needs to be more direct, I'm afraid. Just thinking out loud here.

Would any of you like to share whatever wisdom God has given you on this?


NaNcY said...

i agree with you that we should do all in the Love of Jesus. otherwise we might as well be talkin to a wall or be clanging a cymbal.

good thoughts, ted.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, and thanks, Nancy.