by Meg@bluffparkbaptist.org | Thursday, February 8, 2018
The absolute last thing I want to do with anyone with whom I interact is to hurt their feelings. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I can’t fathom someone hurting another person’s feelings on purpose and believe that the overwhelming majority of you feel the same way. So what do we do when a person we know takes a lifestyle stance that is opposite to what the Bible teaches? Suppose you have a family member that “comes out” as gay or transgender; how do you handle that without hurting them? If a friend or neighbor tells you that they are an atheist or even a member of some hate group, how do you maintain any sort of relationship to them?
First we must remember that as Christians our purpose is to bring help and healing to people; we are called to show the love and purpose of Christ. There is no wiggle room in there for anything else if we are to let others see Jesus in us. We will never reach anyone for Christ if we allow ourselves to look down on others or judge their sin as worse than ours.
So the first thing is respect. We must work to developers mutual respect with those who believe/think/act differently. That doesn’t mean acceptance of their chosen lifestyle and it doesn’t mean affirming what they believe. It is simply a mindset of compassion and understanding based on our knowledge that God loves them and wants what is best for them. That allows meaningful dialogue with them.
Next is patience. Things don’t happen overnight or with just one discussion. Impatience can lead to argument rather than discussion and, as far as possible on your end, you must keep the door opened for more interaction. Be patient because you have the truth and they have been hearing lies from everywhere else. You may be the only truth they hear; they need that. The truth will set them free
And last, but not least, you must know the truth and be prepared to share it lovingly. Know how to answer such lies as “God made me this way” or “I was born like this”. Be prepared to respond to truths that they miss-use: “God loves me just like I am” or “You can’t judge me”.
It is tough many times for they are being taught that because you disagree with them that you hate them. Have faith in God’s word that through all the lies and misconceptions, the Spirit can and will reveal the true love in your heart.
Bro. Tony, pastor
Church on the Bluff