Thursday, January 10, 2013

Is it loving to tell someone what they don't want to hear?

I had this conversation with a friend yesterday about this little gem in Mark 10:
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing:  go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heave; and come, follow Me." (v.21)
He said this to the Rich Young Ruler who wanted to be right but wouldn't surrender his possessions.  Was it hard for him to hear Jesus say that?  Obviously yes, because he walked away sorrowful (v.22).  Was it necessary for him to hear Jesus say that?  Obviously yes, because Jesus wasn't blogging about His thought for the day or tweeting pictures of what He had for dinner the night before - every word was intentional.  But in our day of culturally defined tolerance, telling someone the Truth is unloving if somehow they are victimized by it.  But the Truth is still the path of liberty, and so it still needs to be said.

And that leads me to this conclusion:  sometimes the most loving thing Jesus can do for us is tell us what we don't want to hear but desperately need to, even when it's hard, even when it hurts.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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