Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What Will The Neighbours Think?

Many of us are terrified to speak God's Revealed Truth, in case we upset our neighbour. So rather than speak the Truth many instead take the option of the fence sitter, who simply wants to get along with everyone. This is a perverted form of loving one's neighbour for it is in essence a love of oneself, in that the focus is not your neighbours well being but rather one's own.

There is a great fear shared by many people that if we correct another we are then 'judging' them. This is a misalignment of compassion for to not correct another if we know them to be committing a serious sin is to leave them open to the Judgment of God. What many don't understand is that when we fail to correct another who is going astray, we also stand condemned for it is not love that stops us from speaking the Truth, but fear.

There are many people who instead of living to please God instead place their emphasis on being pleasing to man even if that means condoning sinful lifestyle choices, vulgar and crude behaviour or immodesty. They accept all this not in a spirit of love but in a spirit of fear, this springs from the enemy who incites us to fear that our friends will turn against us if we correct them. When correction is done in the right spirit then none should take offense but instead we should feel grateful that our mistakes or misconceptions have been corrected.

We must face the fact that no-one likes to be corrected, as President Harry Truman once said, "I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it is hell." This is the same with our friends, they may not wish to hear the Truth but that should not prevent us from speaking it.

When we stand by our principles and what we believe to be true, then we become a beacon of light in a world grown dark with sin, as someone once said, "Live in such a way that those who know you but don’t know God will come to know God because they know you."

To worry over what others may think of you is to lose focus on why we are Christians and it is not so that we can gain friends and influence people, as Thomas Kempis reminds us, "Great tranquility of heart is his who cares for neither praise nor blame." When we spend inordinate time worrying over what others think of us, what does this say about our level of Faith and what we hold to be true? Even if our friends turn away from us it should matter not if we have spoken the Truth with compassion and love.

We must abide with each other in our faults and failings in full knowledge that none of us are perfect but what we cannot do is accommodate sin as if it were merely a trifle.

Sin is not a fault. It is not a failing. It is a choice.

Rather than wonder what will the neighbours think if you speak God's Truth? Ask yourself what will God think if you stay silent?
written by Marie