How this concept manifests can be puzzling.
Shawn A. Akers
I love to read Dr. Michael Brown’s columns and to listen to his radio show. He is a man of great moral conviction and, I believe, like David, he is a man after God’s own heart.
Dr. Brown addresses today’s cultural issues from a biblical standpoint. Today’s edition of In the Line of Fire titled “Free Speech: Use it or Lose It,” is a great example of his wonderful insight into the problems we face every day in this country. Whether many want to face it or not, we, as conservatives, are indeed losing our ability to speak our minds and our hearts as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.
Dr. Brown tells us that, “For many years I’ve said that, when it comes to America, I’m more concerned with the absence of light than with the presence of darkness. In the same way, I’m more concerned with our failure to speak freely than with those who are trying to silence us.”
Dr. Brown goes on to say, “Why must we dance around these issues with the constant fear of stepping on people’s toes? How can we possibly take gospel-worthy stands if we are such people pleasers? … And what about those who are not preaching behind pulpits or speaking over the airwaves? Who’s stopping us from speaking the truth in love on our social media outlets? … Why don’t we share our faith and our convictions more clearly and boldly and publicly?”
My concern with Dr. Brown and others like him is that he is telling us to speak the truth—the truth of God’s Word—with love and compassion, but he is not telling us how to do it.
Yes, believers must speak with authority and with the direction of the Holy Spirit when we are addressing such issues. But, don’t you think non-believers and carnal Christians have heard just about everything we have to say already? Most likely, they already feel like we’ve beaten them over the head with a club a hundred times.
Dr. Brown says, “I’m all for being sensitive and compassionate. I’m all for using wisdom. But true compassion speaks the truth. Love warns. Wisdom doesn’t waver.”
All true. But how is that manifested in the natural realm, sensitively and compassionately?
Instead of telling them for the 101st time that homosexuality is sin or abortion is murder, shouldn’t we take another approach? Shouldn’t we simply say, “You know how I feel about it and what God’s Word says. The way you feel about it is between you and God?”
Yes, we can repent and God in His mercy will eagerly forgive us. But what do you say to a person who doesn’t believe he or she needs forgiveness for their actions? How can we bridge this gap and truly penetrate souls for the kingdom?
One day, we all will be judged. ALL of us. I won’t be held accountable for what you say and do, only for what I say and do. That thought is daunting enough.
We cannot change other people or their hearts; only God can. Your own efforts to do so will be futile.
When we repent, God, in His mercy, will eagerly forgive us. But what do you say to a person who doesn’t believe he or she needs forgiveness for their words and actions? How can we bridge this gap and truly penetrate souls for God’s kingdom?
This thought may be old school, but the biggest impact on others’ lives is the example you set. Are you completely sold out to Jesus and living your life by His Word, or do you constantly compromise to the world’s standards? Do you have the mind of Christ?
“Be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12).
I am interested to know what you think. Am I missing something? Is there some simple answer about how to speak the truth with compassion? I have sought the answer in genuine and ardent prayer, and opened my mind to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. I would also love to hear your thoughts and what He has told you.
And remember to do something today to rise up higher in your kingdom calling.
Step Out of the Boat is a ministry created by Charisma Media Content Development Editor Shawn A. Akers and dedicated to help Christ followers to become spiritual champions and come to a more intimate relationship with Jesus. With its articles, podcasts and other forms of media, Step Out of the Boat encourages Christ followers to daily reach to a higher level in their calling. Shawn is a 35-year veteran sportswriter, a published poet and he published a story about Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR Chicken Soup for the Soul. You can read his blog here. You can also listen to his podcasts, the Javelin Sports Show, on the Charisma Podcast Network.