Be Bold: Loving People with Passion
You can tell good coffee from the cheap. It smells richer, tastes smoother, and carries more of a kick for those who still feel the effects of caffeine after years of using it as a coping mechanism for a lack of sleep. Some days though, it feels like the only thing that time allows for is that mediocre cup of coffee straight from the Keurig or a hot cup of tea that hasn’t steeped quite long enough.
If something so minor as your daily cup of joe so obviously tells signs of mediocrity, how obvious is your lack of passion for your beliefs?
As Christians, we are commanded in Acts 28:31 to present truth in all circumstances, “Proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.” The gospel is good news of love and redemption, but comes with absolute truth that is often rejected by our world. It is so easy to slip into the habit of tolerance for the sake of loving others. We should love others always, but if we are not loving them with truth, are we loving them at all?
Even Christ’s life on earth provides an example of passion for truth. The story of Jesus flipping the merchant tables in the temple is a Sunday School lesson many of us grew up hearing, but when John records it in his gospel, he quotes Psalm 69:9: “Passion for your house has consumed me” (John 2:17). The Old Testament clearly represents the severity of breaking the law. While we live under New Covenant theology where our salvation is not dependent on our performance, truth does not lose its authority. Jesus demonstrated in righteous anger that grace does not allow for misconduct in the church body.
This narrative is not just an image of God’s right to correct His people. In many of his letters, Paul bears an excellent example of this kind of perseverance and can-do attitude in the face of injustice. He is constantly correcting his brothers and sisters in Christ for their shortcomings and encourages them to do the same in their communities:
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).
Not only is this a requirement of serving others, but speaking truth in love is glorifying and a form of worship: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (1 Timothy 2:15).
Moreover, it is only because of confidence in salvation and God’s sufficiency that we can serve others in truth:
“Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant” (2 Corinthians 3:4-6).
If we are given confidence through the sufficiency of God and his precious gift of unconditional grace, why do we so often doubt our ability to speak the gospel truth to those around us who need the love of Christ? The gospel is not one of condemnation, and while it requires repentance, it offers the unachievable award of eternal life. Our fear of not being “tolerant” enough or righteous enough is not an excuse for disobedience. Take some time today to love someone with the truth of God’s unconditional love and rekindle your passion for His awe-inspiring grace.
NOTE: All Bible verses come from the English Standard Version