If we want the world to see the transforming power of the gospel, we must be willing to train ourselves.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-2 NIV)
Does anyone in your life have your permission to follow Galatians 6:1–2 when you need it? The text doesn’t read, “If anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual, get in their face!” But I’m one who needs strong rebuke occasionally, so I’ve given a few people permission to be tough (in love) when it comes to encouraging me to godliness.
I need to be told when my tone is harsh or I’ve opened my mouth too much or I’ve been insensitive. I want to have my eyes opened to my blind spots. Oh, initially I’m repulsed by my ugliness and want to run and hide, or try to justify... but the love of Christ compels me to look at my ugliness head on. If I don’t see it, I can’t repent and grow. And isn’t that what we all need—spiritual growth in order to look like Christ, to be that light in the darkness that draws those who are spiritually needy and totally blind?
If we want the world to see the transforming power of the gospel, we must be willing to train ourselves for godliness (1 Tim. 4:7–8). In Ephesians 4:11–16, the apostle Paul tells us that we’re to speak the truth in love and grow up to maturity in Christ. I don’t know about you, but I tend to slip into a false comfort zone where I think I’m doing just fine. I need truth-speakers in my life that will lovingly get in my face when I’ve got my head in the sand and have totally missed a huge blind spot of needed growth.
If you love your brother or sister, your husband, your friend, you’ll be willing to come alongside with a gentle word of truth. Because, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Prov. 27:6). And to ask them to do the same to you.
Have you asked someone who loves you to get in your face lately? How did it help you to grow?