Is it Better to be Right or Kind?

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Jesus said His followers would be known by the way they love each other. Which is better - to be right or kind? Maybe it's time to stop being "right."

Whether it’s a pipe organ or praise band, chanting liturgies or repeated choruses . . . everyone has an opinion of the “right” way to do “church.”

And we don’t just bark at and bite each other over service styles, we get hot with our different understanding of points of theology and condemn those who don’t follow the rules we believe are important.

I read an excellent post yesterday by Lisa Burgess, at Lisa Notes titled When we eat our own. She wrote:

Don’t confuse being Biblical with being right when being godly is being loving. The Bible is true and God is loving.

Week after week I see people gnaw on each other through blog posts, comments, Facebook, and Twitter.

I don’t really want to know why you think I’m wrong and I’m pretty sure you don’t care why I think you’re wrong. What I do want to know is how knowing and loving Jesus has changed your life. I want to know how He’s giving you victory over fear, worry, or anger. I want to know how he’s restoring your relationships, and how he gives you peace.

You may feel justified and righteous for shouting what you think in capital letters, but do you really feel good.

Do you wait anxiously for your friends to “like” or “share” your posts, because if enough people agree with you . . . you must be right? Right?

The truth of God’s Word speaks for itself. God doesn’t need us to rant in His defense. And truthfully, getting ugly doesn’t exactly make people want to get to know a god whose followers are cranky and unkind.

To show people their love for Him, Jesus commanded His followers to love each other.

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples.” John 13:34-35

To show people their trust of Him, Jesus commanded His followers to faithfully obey.
Jesus said to the people who believed in Him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to My teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
He did not tell His followers to point out all the ways other people weren’t “faithfully obeying.” He said to “love each other” and “remain faithful to His teachings.”
It’s personal.
We are called to love not to convict, judge, or change hearts, minds, and lives . . . that’s His job.

Pray for believers to be faithful and loving.

Pray that followers of Jesus will:

1. Repent of their need to be right and their failure to follow Jesus command to be loving.
2. Ask for forgiveness from those on whom they’ve gnawed.
3. Forgive those who have gnawed on them.
4. Search the Scriptures to know what Jesus said about faithful obedience and love.
5. With changed hearts and minds show their discipleship by loving one another.

No more fist pounding or foot stomping. No more name calling or finger pointing.

Only changed lives showing themselves through love.

I’m sorry for the times I have failed to show His love. I’m praying for God’s grace and strength to be faithful and loving in the future. Will you join me?

 

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6 Comments

  1. Robert O. Johnson says:

    Let me drink- let me bathe – let me feel that ever-flowing water from the Rock wash over me in Jesus love and forgiveness. Restore me and send me.

  2. Katheryn Foreman says:

    There is not a section in the newspaper that tells how love is going. When you go to an automated teller machine and insert a card you always have two basic options, and they are that you can make a deposit or make a withdrawal. How important is it to know the difference between a deposit and a withdrawal? Very important because when I make a deposit I am adding value. I`m building up reserves. Relationally and spiritually in God`s eyes, when I make a deposit in a life of a person then I am honoring love. In God`s eyes, a deposit is always honoring love. Might feel pleasant and joyful to that person, it might not. There might be a sting to it, but I am honoring the law of love. Withdrawal, on the other hand, is when I take away value – when I take value out, when the reserves go down. A withdrawal is always the violation of love. Withdrawal is always a violation of love. It might feel good to the other person.

    1. Katheryn, You’re right. The newspaper is often depressing. But we have hope and the opportunity to share our hope as we love the people around us. I like the way you call it “honoring love.” I’m so glad you visited and shared a comment. Blessings!

  3. Adrian Ellis says:

    The world says — rightly — “Love your friends. Be loyal to your friends. Look out for your friends.” Why? Friends will look out for you. Loving your friends is just smart. This also goes to loving your wife or your husband. As the Apostle Paul observes, “Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself” (Ephesians 5:28). Loving your wife is a no-brainer unless you’re self-destructive. Loving your friends and your spouse is just enlightened self-interest.

    1. Hi Adrian, Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I have always believed that God’s ways just make sense. It’s true being kind greatly benefits the giver. Praise God it benefits the receiver too. A win win all the way around.

  4. Kieth Mccormick says:

    Children often feel that some of their parents’ requirements (e.g. “Don’t play in the street”) are unreasonable. But in later years, the child will thank the parents for the requirement. We are “children” in dealing with God, because His thoughts and actions are as high above ours as the heavens are above the earth (Isaiah 55:8, 9). We need to trust our loving heavenly Father in the few areas we may not understand and stop “playing in the street”, if He so requires. He will never withhold anything good from us (Psalms 84:11). When I am truly in love with Jesus, I will give Him the benefit of the doubt and do His will even if I do not always understand why. The new birth is the key. The Bible says when I am truly born again, overcoming the world will not be a problem because a converted person will have the faith and trust to happily follow Jesus in everything (1 John 5:4). Refusing to follow Him because I am not clear on His reasons displays a lack of trust in my Saviour.

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