Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. (NIV)
The entire Scripture is agape love. God has spoken His truth from the depth of His love to inspire and motivate us to a higher lifestyle that opens us up to His power that transforms us from the inside out. The world around us may not change a lick, but we suddenly have a joy that cannot be described, a hope that cannot be weakened, a faith strong enough to move mountains, and a peace that supersedes all of life’s worries. God has spoken and continues to speak the truth in love to press us into a life lived above the fray.
But when God speaks His loving truth with nothing in mind but the best for us, as sinful creatures, we often do not listen. Sin can be so embedded in us that we can’t make sense of the life He proposes. This Christ-life requires the self-discipline to reject the sweet elixirs of death. We mistreat Him, reject Him, ignore Him, then blame Him when our life goes awry. Just as we have rejected the Lord’s love, people will reject our love. Temptation can present itself even when we are speaking the truth in love.
When our love and advice is ignored, rejected, or characterized as prudish and dumb, it is easy to get offended, angry, or give up on them. In frustration, we can push them in ungodly ways.
Before we address anything with others, we must make sure we are walking in the Spirit. And we must go into any conversation with our highest priority being to hold tight to the Holy Spirit throughout the conversation.
Prayer: Lord, help me to remain in You so that I am equipped to speak the truth in love to others without letting distance come between me and the Holy Spirit. Amen.