I am not a person who likes to see others hurting, and I try to be very careful with how I interact with other people. There is a proverb that says a soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger (Proverbs 15:1). I've experienced in dealing with angry people that giving a soft answer can immediately make a sour conversation turn sweet. I'm all for having sweet conversations with others.
We must remember though that there are times when Biblical truth will upset people no matter how we handle ourselves in conversing with them. Some things just rub people the wrong way even if these things are shown to be truths contained in sacred Scripture. People are inclined to abide in what they have been taught; what has been handed down to them by their parents or grandparents. Many times people hold on to good teachings that have been handed down, but there are times that we all hold on to false teachings that have been handed down. It is possible for our fathers to have inherited lies, and then we inherited these same lies from our fathers (Jeremiah 16:19). When we are initially faced with coming to grips that we think wrongly about an issue, we want to respond by defending ourselves whether we are right or wrong because of the pride of not wanting to admit error. The truth sometimes hurts, but we cannot allow our emotions or experiences to ever over rule the word of the sovereign Creator.
When we witness about Biblical truths to others we should do so respectfully and in a spirit of love. At the same time we must be aware that our witness of truth is not always going to be received no matter how kind we seek to be when sharing.
I've experienced both aspects of this. I've been on the end of having to receive truth that hurt me at first, and I've been on the end of sharing truth that hurt others. Our intentions and motives should never be to hurt and harm, but nonetheless never forget that at times truth will hurt and harm. Hopefully, we who are hurt at first by truth will later be able to see the error of our past ways.
I remember when I was a little boy singing a song in children's church that said, "Read your Bible pray every day and you'll grow, grow, grow." I never knew how true that song was until I became an adult and realized that when we skip even one day of Bible reading and prayer we do not grow, but rather shrink. The same goes for fasting. People today act as though fasting has been abolished. Yet fasting is mentioned so many times in Scripture as something people did to draw closer to Yahweh and have their prayers heard (Nehemiah 9:1; Psalm 35:13; Daniel 9:3; Matthew 17:21; Acts 10:30; Acts 14:23). I'm certainly not saying that I'm the best at Bible reading, prayer, and fasting, but I do know that when these things are active in my life, life just goes so much better. Don't delay. If you've not been putting these to practice, begin to do so today. Yahweh will be pleased, and you will not regret the fruit that these will bear.
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.