I don’t like conflict. However, I also don’t give in when it comes to truth. Yesterday was hard. The whole day was going well, and then it kind-of all blew up. It was in a group setting, a question was asked, and when Biblical truth was shared, feelings were hurt, there was a combative spirit, and there was a divisive attitude.
Even though one-on-one, the individual who was upset was fine, there is still a group dynamic that has to be dealt with. And so when I came home, I was spiritually beat. I just wanted to go to bed, and when I did, I couldn’t sleep. The incident kept playing itself over in my head.
I am also studying I Corinthians 13, and in my head, I was thinking —
“How could I have been more loving while standing for the truth of God’s Word with someone who turns combative?”
It’s not always easy. Truth must be upheld, but I Corinthians 13 says that without love I am nothing.
It says, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” So I need to make sure that I speak the truth in love, and I know that although the one person knows that I love them, it did not look like that in a group setting. If Christ is not glorified by my words and actions, then I have done something wrong in trying to do what is right.
Obviously, I don’t have the answer. I’m still a work in progress, because I didn’t do it right. I need to keep working on this dynamic of holding forth the Word of God but also having love that does not insist on it’s own way, of having love that is not rude, of having love that is patient and kind.
We never arrive. We never will be perfect, and there is always more to learn. Sometimes those lessons are hard and ugly. So we’ll go on today and keep at it. We’ll try to please God with the aftermath and learn what we could’ve done better.
How could we have loved more? How could we have spoken the truth in a kinder, gentler way? It’s something I need to get better at.
As Valentine’s Day is this weekend, let’s all try to love the way Christ loved us. He loved us with a sacrificial, I Corinthians 13 love.
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