Seems like I've always struggled as I try to figure out the how of loving people, but not compromising concerning sin. This morning as I read 1 I Kings 18 I thought about this again.
During this time in Israel's history, the climate was to be "open minded". The king's wife set up worship places for both Baal and Asherah. As I seek to read between the lines in I Kings 15-18, it seems like the people are trying to make life work. I Kings 18:21 records that the people were silent when Elijah challenged them about who they believed in. It was as if they were trying to assume the mediocre stance of non commitment. While it could be easy to say how wrong they were; I can also see how easy it would be to fall into that, to just want to get along.
Sometimes I struggle with the same thing. When the media, people with whom I work, everywhere around me, is pointing out how intolerant and unloving Christians are. When these same sources are indicating that things that God clearly says are sin the Bible are just "choices" and that everyone is entitled to their own choices. In this climate I struggle. I struggle to find ways to show my love for people without compromising my own knowledge and beliefs about what is right and wrong.
I try to do this by not getting caught up in debates with unbelievers about moral issues; since they do not see the Bible as truth any way. At the same time, I do not change my own beliefs and if push comes to shove I will state my own thoughts (but I've found that frequently people are much more interested in sharing their own thoughts than listening to mine). I try to let God give me His love for people and look for opportunities to reach out to the people around me. Life is tough and people hurt; I try to notice what's going on with people and offer support and encouragement in both words and thoughtful actions. Yet....is that enough?
What about you, do you struggle with being loving and not compromising the truth? What are some things that you've found helpful?
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