Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How Telling People How Wrong They Are Can Hide The Truth

Why do we so desperately want to tell people what they are doing wrong? It starts young. If you have brothers and sisters, you know what I’m talking about. One of the high points of the day for lots of children is catching their sister doing something she shouldn’t. He’ll tell her or mom or whoever will listen, how wrong it is leave the legos spread around the floor.  Even when we're young, we love telling people what they are doing wrong.

This seems especially prevalent in the church. Sometimes it seems that a majority of sermons are about something or someone that is wrong. I’d like to stop for a second and simply ask the question: Why are we so obsessed with telling people how wrong they are? Many people will say that telling people that they are wrong is loving. Love is honest, that’s true. But if we are honest with ourselves, love is usually how we rationalize that deep desire to talk about how wrong the wrong stuff is. I doubt anyone sits around thinking, “how can I show this person how much I love them… oh yeah, I’ll tell them about all of the things they do that are wrong!”.

Seems like a bit of a stretch.

I normally know when I’m doing something wrong. I don’t always admit that I know, but deep inside I know. Maybe other people are like that too. What if the thing that people really struggle to believe is that God loves them, and that God isn’t scared off by whatever wrong they are wrapped up in. The good news of the Gospel is about God’s refusal to be held back by the sin in us and around us. The point is that we are to take our eyes off of how messed up we are and to fix them on Jesus, who is for us. I believe that is the message that people need to hear the most, not how weak they are, but how strong God is. We can't right our wrongs by ourselves anyway. We need God's help.

“But wait a minute!”, you may be saying, “so many people act like they are doing nothing wrong!”. I know. So do you and so do I. What breaks me out of pretending that I’ve got it all together is a reminder that because of Jesus, I don’t have  to have it all together. He does. I just need to trust Him.

So, let’s stop obsessing about who’s wrong (we all are), and let’s start obsessing about a God who loves us more than we can imagine. That sort of love tends to right wrongs better than our accusations ever could.

Photo courtesy of Death To Stock Photo

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