Monday, December 05, 2005

Deep thoughts- what do you think?

So in our Bible study we're reading this book that definitely resembles The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. Last night we launched into a discussion about boldness, speaking the truth in love, what holds us back from it, etc. Some of the members were saying that they feel like they have never "offended" anyone for the sake of the Gospel, or Truth, and they were wondering if that is a problem. There are several paths you could explore on this one.

Here's my thought process: It depends on why you haven't. And on what is holding you back. And if you're speaking the truth and just haven't offended anyone. Then I wondered, could it be that different ones of us were gifted differently so that influences how we "speak the truth" and whether or not we offend. Here's what I mean. Jeff is much more of a "prophet"- when he speaks the truth, it's black and white, sincere, true, and not always very tactful- although lately I see a lot more love in his reproofs. I on the other hand, tend to be more gentle, more merciful, and more tactful- even when I must say soemthing that is not on the "top ten" list of things someone wants to hear before they die. It's not that I hold back because I'm afraid of offending them, but I just tend to communicate in a different manner than some others in the Body. Does this mean it's wrong? Does this mean I have much further to go before I can "be like Jesus"? (The argument was that Jesus didn't always make friends, He did divide, He did speak the truth and not everyone liked Him for it.) Not everyone likes me either- but more because I see beyond what they choose to share or show me and they don't like being "known".

One of the quotes from the book that struck me was that "speaking the Truth must always be done with grace. Speaking the truth in love is not enough. Speaking the truth without grace is what the Enemy does when he poses as the "Angel of Light" and comes to divide and conquer." See, I like that, because it makes sense to the "Mercy" in me. But, I can also see how sometimes having grace may just get in the way of speaking truth in the way that someone may need to hear it.

I don't know, I'm just thinking that spiritual gifting may play a role in there somewhere. I could be wrong and maybe deep down I'm afraid of offending someone in the process of sharing Truth. I don't know. Only God knows, and I pray that He makes it more clear as I wade throught these thoughts. What do you think?

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