Dear friends, acquaintances, evangelizers--
I have often heard and use to say, "the truth hurts sometimes." But as I look over my life I have to question when did I get to use the truth as I experienced it as a weapon? When did get to determine the truth needs to hurt someone?
And so, I write this letter to let you know how I work as a person. If you want to influence me, there are a few things you should know.
First, you don't get to determine if I need to be hurt by the truth or not. I trust the Holy Spirit to lead and convict.
Second, looking back on my life, the people who influenced me most were people who did not believe it was their job to save me. They were my friends and are my friends no matter if we agree or disagree politically, theologically, or in life style. They would never consider me their enemy because I see things differently or live out my faith differently. When we disagree, they are not out to make a point and save me from the "lies I believe." They have come to understand that, as I Corinthians 13 says, we all see things dimly. And so they don't call me heretic, enemy, ignorant, foolish, stupid, wrong. Instead they say something like these statements:
~"I see where you are coming from but have you thought of....?"
~"When I come to this subject, I am informed by this Scripture...."
~"What I find helpful....."
~"You know, another way of looking at that subject is..."
They approach where we differ as my friend, hoping for the best for both of us.
Third, those who influenced me most know I already have a Savior. And they trust that Jesus will remain true to his word--the one who has begun this good work will finish it. Where we all get this thing called life and this thing called faith wrong, God will sanctify us. Where we are getting it right, God will refine. They trust God is at work in my life just as God is at work in their life.
I am trying to live these points out also. I remind myself regularly, when we like being proven right more than we like being like Christ, we are getting it wrong. One can speak the truth and not be Christ like--I Corinthians 13 speaks to that. What good is it if we speak the truth but people to feel loved?
Can we disagree about who is the better President, political party, theology and still be friends?