truth or judgment
i wrote this as a comment to christian's post, what is love part 2, as a reply to what brandon wrote. then i decided it would make a decent post all on it's own. brandon's question is the topic:
how are we as fallen humans to practise a "love that rescues"i just picked up this book for my church planting class called evangelism outside the box (i know, cheesy title and it's a pretty cheesy book) by rick richardson. he quotes peter berger who is trying to capture the attitude that most christians have when it comes to witnessing (though it is a mostly dead attitude for those they are trying to speak to) and I think this speaks to what you are saying, brandon. the style of witness is...
a peculiar mixture of arrogance ('i know the truth') and benevolence ('i want to save you') has always been the chief psychological hallmark of missionary activity.i think one answer, brandon, is that we have to speak truth the same way that nathan the prophet did when he came to king david after his sin with bathsheba and the killing of her husband. he told him a parable that enraged him. story is the key to speaking truth in our day and age. this is hard because it means we have to be creative.
to be honest, i'm not sure that we are called to speak "words that rescue." we should be most concerned to speak the truth (because it does rescue) and trust the holy spirit to do the rescuing. the other thing to remember is that the response of the individual we are speaking cannot always be our barometer for how we've done. if your friend is anything like me...i get defensive and pissed off when my wife calls me on stuff that she sees as potentially dangerous spiritually. it is my fleshly response and i try to get out of her accusation any way i can. but once the holy spirit has had time to burn her words into my heart, if conviction is necessary, it comes.
if your friend is anything like me, she loves her sin very much (because i do mine) and doesn't want to let go of it. if that is the case, then her response is very...well...human.
how do we answer brandon's question, though? it gets at the heart of relationship. i have learned that no relationship can go to the next level until we have conflict and confrontation. how do we do this so that we come out loving the person more and not becoming bitter towards them? how do those of us who are people-pleasers pursue our loved ones when conflict and pain are inevitable?