This morning in Kid’s Connection we talked about stewardship and read about the Rich Young Ruler. I understand the lesson in this story. I know that the point is not to love our stuff more than God. I’m not trying to stretch or pull out something from the text that isn’t there. So please just know this was just a little side lesson the LORD taught me this morning. As I was reading this story to the kids, 2 words really stuck out to me. My heart was moved by two little words in this scripture that I never really noticed before.
“And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." (Mark 10:21)
What I loved about rereading it today were those words, “loved him”. I love how Jesus doesn’t give us a formula for following him, but out of love, He speaks directly to the issues in our hearts. The issues that are personal, the struggles we have specific to our self, the things that keep us from completely surrendering and trusting him. He did this with the woman at the well, remember? He spoke to her about her “many husbands”. He did this with Nicodemus, telling him to be “born again”. He did this with Martha reminding her not to busy herself with serving but to choose the “good portion”.
I love this about our LORD! He knows us so intimately, He loves us so much, that He will address those things in our lives so that we may have eternal life, that abundant life He died to give us. He knows it is going to hurt us a little to have these inner issues revealed, but He also knows it’s the loving thing to do to bring these out into the light so that we would grow closer to our Heavenly Father and be conformed to the image of His son.
I learned that the more loving thing to do sometimes is to speak truth directly to heart issues. The more loving thing to do is help someone see what it is that might be interfering with and preventing them from having an intimate relationship with God. I learned from Jesus that this is not judgment, but love. (Oooh, fine line I know). Jesus loved the rich young man, Jesus loved all of the people he spoke these hard truths to. As a community of believers, we are called to speak truth in love to one another, so that we grow up in Christ (Ephesians 4:15).
Will you allow Jesus to lovingly address the heart issues in your life? Will you allow friends/family to lovingly speak truth into your life? Will you lovingly speak truth to others?
“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” (Proverbs 27:5-6)
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)