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Contending with Care

Description

It is important to know your theology and to know what the Bible teaches. But it is also so very important just to love people.

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 (Ephesians 4:15).

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.

 

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