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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Speaking the Truth in Love

A lot has been said about bullying lately in the media.  Whether you are aware of the suicides that have taken place by young men and women or not...someone should offer some advice on how to tread these types of issues from a Christian perspective.  Let me say up front that it is shameful that people have such hate in their hearts towards people.  So what I hope to offer below is hopefully clear, gentle, and thoughtful...
Now before you run and form a conclusion about where you think this is going, let me clear some things up:
1.  Since I am a believer in Christ, I try my best to adhere to His teachings...which are found in the Bible.
2.  That means I use the Bible as my source of ultimate truth and guidance.
3.  This being true, to my knowledge and study of God's Word, I have come to the conclusion that homosexuality is sin.
4.  That being said, there are many many other sins in the Bible that I have come to the same conclusion about. 

Whether you agree with the above or not, it is OK with me.  I just hope you can be as gracious with me as I am with you.

Personally, I try to live to the standard set by the Scripture's when dealing with difficult issues like the one above.  So I turn to the Apostle Paul who says to, "speak the truth in love." 

Notice that there are two very important parts to this. 
1.  Speak the Truth:  Go ahead and share what you have to say. 
2.  In Love:  But do not forget how you are going to say/communicate it. 

When you combine Truth and Love, you will have two important factors intermingling with each other keeping the other in check.  Communicating this way will give grace and display humility to others.  It actually wins people over...not pushes them away.  Have you ever noticed how if you divorce the two, Love and Truth, that ugliness only gushes forth?  It is easy to see how the Apostle's words are timeless and still ring true today.

Turning my attention to the Bullies:-When, and why in the world, would you think that beating, hitting, calling hurtful names is going to prove your case?
The only case you are proving is that your are not following the Leader.  When you follow Christ, you are called to follow Him. Not the parts of His teaching that you like most.  And yes, Jesus was and still does call people to change.  He calls people out of their sin...ANY sin.  Which includes your hate.  So remember to ADD love to your message or you will resemble Luigi. 

Finally,  as for my stance on bullying:  We should focus on the bullies behaviour and not the specific groups that are being targeted.  Meaning, people have been made fun of for as many reasons as you or I could ever list...being too fat (me for the first 21 years of my life), too skinny (I wish), ugly, dumb, your race, your economic class, Etc... The point is, it is important not to go to the extreme in what is considered "worse" to bully than what is acceptable.  If so, you will open the door to hypersensitivity that borders on insanity.

Let me conclude with a prayer: May God grant us wisdom for times like these.  Amen.

"Like Apples of Gold in settings of silver, so is a word spoken in the right circumstances."
-Proverbs 25:11 

-I hope that you found this thoughtful, gracious, and balanced.  I would like to hear your thoughts on this.  Feel free to leave them in the comments area.


christina pruitt said...

Great approach. It definetly fell under the two rules. 1. Speak the truth and 2. speak it out of love. I felt that this blog did not show any hard feelings towards homosexuals just stating the truth about what you believe in. You are rihgt, we shouldn't be looking at just bullying the homosexuals, we should be looking at bullying as a whole. Great points, great examples.

Anthony K said...

Thanks for the input. I tried very hard to look at this through a Scriptural lens. Our standard has to be God and His Word or all we are left with is mankind's opinions.
Saying that, we have to remember to speak the truth in love.