Thursday, June 9, 2011

Love 2 Love


He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue.
Proverbs 28:23

I make it a priority to speak encouraging words. I am blessed to have people in my life that bless me with their words. Recently, I asked my dearests to look over a couple of projects I was working on and as usual they gave me positive feedback, however I really desired some tough love criticism.  I wanted to be "rebuked" because I wanted to grow and improve. They gave me their praises instead. (I wouldn't call it flattery because to me flattery is empty words of praise spoken to later manipulate.) In conclusion, their responses were different from each other and different from what I desired however I treasured the honesty and tone of love in which it was presented.

Honesty and love should be our priority during communication. However it was just a short while ago, I had an issue with this. I would rather turn a blind eye to others falling short by encouraging what they were doing right and ignoring what they were doing wrong. (gasp)

I know the world would be quick to support this practice because they jump on the "only God can judge aka mind your business because I will do what I please bandwagon", but as a Christian omission is a form of deceit, which is manipulation, which is witchcraft and everyone can identify that as a sin. After thinking on the matter for a while, I came to the conclusion that the lie (by omission) wasn't the root of my problem but again it was fear. I feared upsetting others, being rejected by others more than I feared God. That's a BIG problem!

So to deal with this problem, I had to turn back to the Word. The word says:

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].19  We love Him, because He first loved us.20  If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen.21  And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother [believer] also. 
1 John 4:18-21

Resolving my problem boiled down to love. 

1. Loving God. The Bible clearly says if you love God you will keep his commandments. I have to choose not to lie because I'm doing what is right according to God's Word then I should not fear rejection or offending others. That isn't to say that it will not happen but I should trust God that even if or when it does...ALL things are working for my good.

2. Loving others. I have to love others enough to tell them the truth in love. If I see my brother or sister in Christ falling short or struggling with sin, I am obligated to go to them in love and tell them. I am not going to stand judgement over them and I am not going to act as if I don't sin, but I will bring it to their attention. (maybe they don't know) I share with them the truth: to conquer sin we have to stand on the word of God.

Again I ask you, what is your confession? One of my confessions for conquering gluttony is "You satisfy me more than the richest foods." Speak the Word in to your fight for victory. The Bible says, In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God. We can inject God into your situations simply by speaking His words!

So family, I leave you with this: through Christ we are made righteous but we have to chose to be holy. As always God doesn't command something of us and leaves us to fend for ourselves. We are conquerors through Christ! Moment by moment we must rely on Him to direct our thoughts, feelings, actions so that we can live holy and see God. Do not be deceived in to thinking that rebuke from those that love you is judgement or condescending. They let you know because they love you and desires God's best for your life.  Be blessed and be a blessing... in love.

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