"Kindness and Conviction"
God does not, as the saying goes, "suffer fools gladly."
"The foolish shall not stand in Thy sight" (Psalm 5:5).
We do well to remember that even as we seek to be mercifully kind to all - "let us do good unto all men" - we nevertheless do not coddle obvious deviation from God's truth and reality - "abhor that which is evil" (Galatians 6:10). Christians forfeit respect and thus an authoritative voice when we fail to stand for righteousness, as defined by the Lord in Scripture. People see through our attempts to avoid offending them at the expense of truth. Certainly, we seek to maintain a gentle demeanor even when firmly standing for our Biblically formed convictions (II Timothy 2:24). However, we do no favors to anyone if we compromise in the attempt to avoid conflict. Truth is truth, again, as defined by the God whose standards are perfect and inviolable. We are accountable to Him for kindness and conviction as we represent the Lord Jesus Christ who walked in both gentleness and forthrightness.
Much wisdom and courage must guide our attempt to communicate Truth in attitude and affirmation. Only the Holy Spirit can enable us to "speak the truth in love," whether in merciful kindness or in assertive declaration (Ephesians 4:15). We must realize our own need for such grace, trusting our Lord to both comfort and challenge us as necessary. Such humility regarding our personal walk with Him prepares us to minister His truth in the same gentleness and firmness He ministers to us. We all require both aspects of our Heavenly Father's administration of love, whereby He saves us from the foolishness He does not gladly suffer.
"If a man be overtaken in a fault, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."
Weekly Memory Verse
"In Him we live and move and have our being."