There is so much talk “out there” on topics such as the emergent church, homosexuality in the church, drinking in the church, how to do church in today’s culture, how not to do church in today’s culture, and with all of this comes a lot of bitterness, finger pointing, religion, and legalism. I am tired of it, I’m tired of going from one blog to blog, news story to news story, reading about the things people see wrong in the church. Very seldom do I read about the good that the church is doing.
It is easy to be jaded, but much harder to take the higher road and speak the truth of Jesus gracefully and unconditionally. It’s easy to see the things we disagree with, with the Christian community, our own church, and our fellow believers. It’s much more hard for us to challenge people when we see hypocrisy, well for some it’s easy, it’s hard to do it in grace and encouragement that Jesus would have (Now leave, and sin no more, the woman at the well).
I believe we are obligated, as disciples, to encourage, with grace, the truth. The key is with grace, we seem to have forgotten what it means to give grace to people. We can not assume people will simply change their behavior, it takes graceful correction, reminding, retraining.
The key is learning to send and receive correction, grace, and to listen to what God puts in our heart for that moment, not simply regurgitate something we have been told.
Update: Ben (in many more words) describes exactly what I’m trying to say, see here…