Home > Uncategorized > Life’s Greatest Challenge: Balancing Truth and Love

Life’s Greatest Challenge: Balancing Truth and Love

ImageAs a dedicated, human behavior observer, I am watching the political aftermath following the “Chick-Fil-A” protests.  There are many interesting points, but I wanted to briefly touch on one with some dismay.  The reason I bring this up, is that I notice my temptation to join in.  It’s an issue that creates emotion and frustration on both sides. I say this to illuminate my own humanity and not point fingers that would only serve to label me a hypocrite.  This issue has reaffirmed the great sensitivity that accompanies the issue of gay marriage.  If one isn’t careful, one can easily lose sight of the true intention of heart.  This follows for those for and against gay marriage.  We have seen the best and worst sides of the freedom of speech.  (I suppose to say there is a “bad” side of free speech might inflame some.) My point is this, to one degree or other, many people have lost a sense of civility.  I believe this is pretty obvious on the liberal side, though I know there are those who are for gay marriage AND are civil in their responses.  They stand for their belief while knowing and respecting the right Dan Cathy holds to express his belief in traditional marriage.  They didn’t lose all sense of decency and rationality, but politely and civilly disagreed.  These individuals, I imagine take flack from all sides.

Having said all of this, I have noticed another side of the debate.  A side of conservative proponents that I am now seeing that can be equally as lethal.  Using print, blogging, and twitter, people take to keypads writing vicious, sarcastic, truly hate-filled words.  One of the sad realities is that the word “hate” has been twisted and translated, often, just to mean “a viewpoint that does not coincide with my own.”  Hate crimes legislation is sneered at with contempt because we wonder what is actually deemed as “hate.” With this Chick-fil-a flap, the outrage was instantly labeled as “hate speech” by many.  An individual, when asked, specifically stating his belief in traditional marriage is not hate.  This point must be made clear.  So what is hate?  For a follower of Christ, I look to the Bible as the source of absolute truth.  It has much to say about hate.  I don’t allow my children to ever say they “hate” anyone.  For stating such words is a serious business, to be regarded as “wanting to kill or wish someone dead.”

It would do us all well, to think very hard before using the words hate, projected at someone.

What I want to discuss here, however is the role of the Believer and hate, not the definition, itself.  The Bible is clear in Luke 6 when regarding our “enemies.”  Jesus says,

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?  Even “sinners” love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you?  Even “sinners” do that.”

Specifically, as a blogger and tweeter, it is important to watch what we type along with what we say in conversation.  This is a hard lesson that I have had to learn many times.  In hoping to appear clever and witty, my words can also wound and cause offense.  Don’t mistake truth in a remark as giving offense.  Unfortunately many people mistake a “hard truth” or disagreement as offensive.  That may be and at that I cannot be blamed.  It is the delivery method that I am responsible.  As a Christian, I am obligated to stand for truth and principles found in the Bible.  But, it is the Word that gives offense, at times, not me getting in the way.  I can’t put my own agenda behind it.  I can’t detract from it.  And I cannot speak the truth in a way that is deliberately unloving.  (Though that is up for interpretation.) This balance of love and truth is the cry of my heart and the refining fire in my own life, set forth by the Lord.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say again:  the balance of love and truth is impossible to achieve without the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit in an individuals life.

What I write, what I tweet, whom I follow on twitter and retweet is important.  I ended up retweeting a remark and then thought about it soon after and was not pleased with the message.  I deleted it and am thankful that I felt chastened by it.  I wish I would have thought prior to spreading the remark before, but that is the journey for me…. Upon reading more from the conservative author that I had retweeted, I was very dismayed and a little ill.  The balance of the message was in retaliation that the author felt upon his values.  Though they were resorting to name calling, he dished out with just as much acidic venom.  All of this under the guise of standing for Christ.  This is the very rhetoric that easily enflames those with a liberal viewpoint.

I need to pause here and state, that I believe as a Christian that I have a mandate to stand for what I believe is right, but not in a way that I am vicious and threatening.

I like getting sarcastic and clever, but not to cut someone down and demean them.  It is the principle we fight for, not to verbally assault people.  Its fun to add a comedic spin to our point, but this must be done with character and respect.  In searching the Bible regarding this principle, I found this,

 “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken.” – Luke 6:32

Oy.

How many careless words have I spoken?

I am working to reflect harder.  To think deeper before I respond.  To remember, that

I am a representative of the Lord, not of my own intellect.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. August 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Agreed. I think you will find my article on this issue quite interesting. http://thehungryrabbitjumps.com/2012/08/06/same-sex-marriage-could-it-be-the-end-of-our-freedom-as-a-nation/

    • Order in the Quart!
      August 6, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      So funny, I had already looked it up before you commented 🙂 Love the title of your blog!

      • August 21, 2012 at 10:48 am

        Here is the problem that I personally have with any conservative so-called Christian. Oh yes, you are so up in arms about whether certain people can marry but follow people who are the cruelest political machine ever. it’s ok to cause poor people to suffer indignities and hardships, these thing affect human beings personally. whether people marry whomever they would like has absolutely no bearing upon my .your ,or anyone else personal well-being. I would like to know Christ, but if knowing Christ ls becoming as hateful as most right wing folk who are the holders of morality and God fearing living, but yet are the bringers of hate and lies, all in the name of their God, I find it hard to want to be a part of this outright non-Christ like behavior. ever notice that all Republicans are not hateful and racist but most hateful and racist people are republican. oh. and Christian too. Now that is ironic.

      • Order in the Quart!
        August 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm

        First, Allen, I appreciate you reading my blogsite and commenting. Having said that I would caution you in collectively putting all people into certain groups. I concur with your sentiment that certain people (with that emphasis) have been, for far too long, “up in arms” as you say about homosexual marriage while neglecting other serious issues. I have spoken against this before, if you read my other work. As for your assertion that Republicans are the “cruelest political machine every.” That is an interesting sentiment to me due to the current oppression of many tyrannical regimes. True tyranny – torture, killing, maiming, and the prohibition of women seeking education, such as in Iran, THAT, I believe would be the classification of the “cruelest political machine ever.” Let us not forget the Nazis and Hitler. Using rhetoric as this, is not helpful in engaging in dialogue and convincing others of a genuine, heartfelt debate.

        Now you state that you would like to know Christ, which I am very encouraged to see. To understand and know Christ, you will have to read the Bible for the truest example of who He is. I am afraid that looking to people, any person, can be a dangerous game, due to the fact that none of us are perfect. Any “Christian” who claims to be perfect, should be disregarded immediately. However, those of us who proclaim Christ are imperfect and are still human. I fear that humility is often replaced with pride for those who claim to follow Christ, who was the utmost in humility though He is God, Himself. I caution you though, when you read about Christ; He was not always soothesaying and quiet. In fact, he often called out sin, in Luke 17:1-4 He does this in perfect love and truth “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves. ‘If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day and seven times comes back to you and says, “I repent,” Forgive him.” Jesus is about the truth in the Bible, He is about repentence, but he is also about love and freedom from sin. He spoke about pride. He spoke about Hell. He spoke often about love.

        Having said that most important bit, I will adddress your assertion that the most hateful and racist peole are Republicans and Christians. I would, first, wonder what your definition of hate and racism is, because those words are often labels given to people who merely disagree. I would also caution you in to understand that Democrats, historically, began as racists (true racists). Many fully aligned with the KKK. The most recent example of this is Robert Byrd, the late senator from West Virginia http://www.ask.com/wiki/Robert_Byrd. He was a legitmate member of the KKK. “Southern Democrats formed organizations that violently intimidated blacks and Republicans who tried to win political power.” That quote is from the PBS http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/grant-kkk/
        Lastly, I would site Margaret Sanger. In her book the Pivot of Civilization, her goal is to exterminate blacks. By genocide and sterilization she could fulfill her racist desires. Margaret Sanger was the founder of Planned Parenthood.

        There are people who have proclaimed to be Christians who were true racists. There were Republicans who were true racists. But, sir, do not discount the vast number of Democrats who have a specific, shameful association with racism. If you are using the words racist and hateful to people who merely disagree with people of a different shade skin,THAT is a disgrace. Racism, in its truest form is wishing physical harm to another person, we must get that straight. Finally, I leave with this comment. Christians, those who truly follow Christ, take their worldview and beliefs from the bible. We did not write the Law, nor is it our imagining that proposes standards, but what is in the Bible. This is not something that we can apologize for. And to be labeled as hateful, when we present the truth set forth in our bible in love, is wrong and unfair. I don’t understand how liberals can say such things, when there are extremist Muslims who make explicit hatefilled wishes of death! This, is racism at it’s purest form.

        I pray that you find truth. If you have questions about how to receive Christ, I am happy to discuss this with you.

  2. August 7, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Another thoughtful post. It is so hard to know how to communicate about tough issues or whether to do so at all. I struggle with this, especially with the gray area kind of personality that I have (I tend to see and empathize with all sides of a situation even if I don’t agree with all sides). Sometimes I think I communicate out of obligation, thinking I have to tell what I think or I’m somehow letting the faith down…and that can tend to come across in a harsh way. On the other hand, sometimes I fail to communicate something important out of fear of offending. Hard to say what is the wise route, however, I tend to prefer to discuss one-on-one rather than in public forums. At the same time, I am grateful for those who have a passion for speaking out boldly. I guess I’d finish by saying each of us can try to speak in a way that is full of grace and truth and before speaking check everything, especially sensitive issues, in close conversation with our Counselor, the Holy Spirit, who illumines all things. P.S. I thought it was interesting that my friend Tristi wrote on a similar theme related to wise communication in her post here: http://identityingod.blogspot.com/2012/08/blind-boldness.html

    • Order in the Quart!
      August 21, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      Hey Darcy, I don’t know how I missed this comment, sorry for the lateness of my response. Yes, speaking truth in kindness MUST have consultation with the Holy Spirit. I have had to learn the difference between “brashness and boldness” as your friend eloquently stated in her blog (thank you, btw.). A few years ago, I would engage in debate in public forums and get rudely sassy. (As you know I still have some sassiness, but controlled now 😉 ) I had to learn, in some painful, growing ways, that words CAN wound and there are some things that require silence. Also one must exercise great caution in print, tone and interpretation, without face to face body language are pivotal in understanding. There is such room for misinterpretation and hurtful reception. I only know this because I was chastened for it and refined by the Holy Spirit. Boldness is an excellent ambition, but humility, love, and grace are a necessity. There is a time for speaking out and a time for silent reflection and prayer. I am grateful, though I had some very hard lessons to learn that the Lord confronted me. I depend upon Him to be certain that I don’t fall into that trap again.

  3. August 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Very well said, indeed; thank you! I would love to hear your thoughts on trite, but-at-best irritating, comments like, “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” I mention this because, even though I am decided in my commitment to traditional Judeo-Christian definition and understanding of marriage, statements like the above have me wagging my head as much as, “Two dads are better than none.” That being the said, I am wondering, do such statements really contribute anything to the discussion/debate? Do they, perhaps, even needlessly antagonize??? Well, just an aside… Again, great blog from a truly gifted writer. Thanks again!

    • Order in the Quart!
      August 13, 2012 at 12:41 am

      Hi Noblethemes! I apologize for late response. Thanks for reading and encouraging me! Yes, these “kitchy” phrases, I believe, began with good intentions, but attempt to simplify something that is very painful and sensitive. Further, I get a little ill when I see people using hateful, vile phrases towards the gay community, all the while, porporting to be Christians. The language that I’ve seen that is “off-color” and sexually charged used BY someone claiming to be standing on Biblical principle is just heretical. This is the antithesis of everything the Lord stood for. Truth AND Love. The are not suggestions, but uncompromising standards that we are obligated to adhere to. Even when we are attacking with vile, cruelty, we are to respond in love and truth. I absolutely believe that they are antagonizing, which is unbiblical. That being said, when we DO relay the truth in love with respect and compassion, we cannot apologize for what the Bible says. The truth is a light in dark places and will offend, even when we do our part to treat others with compassion and kindness. Christ let us know that if the world hated us to remember, it hated him first. Thanks so much for your input! Bless you!

  4. Karen Helmer
    August 7, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Great post, Jen. Certainly something that we all need to work on: truth & grace. Christ was completely both. Oh, to be more like Him!!

    • Order in the Quart!
      August 13, 2012 at 12:42 am

      Thanks Karen! Yes, we have to keep on that path, even when we mess up and stray. Our journey and race is in pursuit of His likeness, not our own diatribes!

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