Thursday, December 30, 2010

Speaking the Truth in Love

I have been pondering many issues this year that have troubled me.  I have found myself often upset.  I've written about several issues over the past few months... homosexuality and Christianity, women in church leadership, submission, Bible translation...  My thought life seems to move from one issue to another.

A few days ago, my husband expressed his concern about what I think and believe.  After much discussion, I explained to him that I am honest with him so that I might sort out and that he might reflect to me where my wrong thinking is.  He is very helpful in this, but it can give him a wrong view of the final conclusions that I come to because he has heard more the of the turmoil than of the conclusion.

This morning he said something to me which I thought was very wise.  He commented that it is important that we not lose sight of loving our neighbors.  It is easy to get derailed and focused on facets of life or parts of church doctrine and become consumed by them.  It is easy to see people who see differently than we do as our foes.  

It was interesting because that day I got a letter from a Christian organization about the war that we are in.   The letter explained that we are in a way with those who believe that the belief of tolerance must trump all absolutist beliefs--the belief in one God being such a view.  In the letter, the word "love" wasn't mentioned.  It was not a mean spirited letter though.  It was simply a matter of fact letter.

Afterwards, the scripture which says "love your enemies" came to my mind.

Matthew 5:43-48 NIV

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Though we disagree with others, we do need to love others that are on the other side.  I think that was what my husband wanted to remind me to keep in mind.  We need to--speak the truth in love.

Ephesians 4:15 NIV

15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

As I've sorted through some of the issues I've pondered and struggled through on this blog this year, I hope that my "voice" has had love and sounded like a resounding gong (I Cor. 13:1).  I know that at times it may not have, but that is not my desire or my heart.  

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