a lot of you may have seen (or heard if you're not a coffee drinker) about the starbucks "the way i see it" quotes on their coffee cups. recently, i have been paying more than casual attention to them, and have been surprised at some of the nonsense that appears on the back of those oh so delicious cups of caffinated goodness. (can you tell it is nearing finals time??)
now, by nonsense, i do not mean they make no coherent sense. on the surface, they usually do. if you were to just read some of them in passing, you mightthink "hmm.. that's true." take this one i had last weekend for instance...
the way i see it #84
"in thinking about my journey so far here on planet earth, i have come to believe that there are some people who would rather be right than be loved. i would rather be loved. how about you?" -- wynonna judd
now, upon the initial reading, this doesnt sound so bad. who among us don't want to be loved?
when it coems to petty arguments, i can see her point. what the *real answer* is in trivial pursuit or scrabble, or discussing sports trivia really just doesnt matter.. no one likes a "know it all", so why not just enjoy the good company rather than trying to always correct people and be the one who is always right.
o.k. wynonna, im with you on this one.
but what about when it comes to the gospel? what if you have lost friends or family that tell you that they can believe whatever they want, and as long as they believe it sincerely, they will be in heaven? what if they get mad when you try to tell them that the bible says that christ is the only way to the father, and that there is only one way to salvation. what if they tell you that they love you, but they dont want to talk about it anymore. what if they say that if you love them, you would leave them alone. what if they tell you that you are closed minded and you need to be more accepting of those who are different?
what if you are told by a homosexual friend that if you can't accept that their lifestyle is a valid one and perfectly ok, and if you cant support them then they don't want to hear anything you say?
would you rather be loved by them, or be right?
jesus christ said that he is the only way to salvation. (john 14:6) it is not unloving to tell someone who is trusting on their morality or good works, or buddha, mohammed, or some other means to attain salvation that they are wrong.
now obviously, i am not suggesting that we become calloused christians who throw away any regard for personal relationships. we cant share the gospel with or minister people who we chase off because we treat them as a project. it is not about "being correct". it is about knowing the truth and sharing it... just like we are commanded.(matt.28:19-20)
but when it comes to the gospel, telling them that our message is the only "right" truth so that they might turn to christ*is* loving them.
i find that, mor often than not, i am apt to be light on the gospel, and heavy on the "don't disturb the still waters" when it comes to boldy sharing the gospel.
scripture paints no picture of christ or the apostles being sheepish about the truth. sometimes the most loving thing we can do is tell people that the way the are living, or what they believe is a lie.
again, obviously we are to speak the truth in love, not just go around trying to prove we are the ones who are right, just for the sake of being seen as "the one who is right." heaven and hell are at stake, and to compromise the gospel for the sake of "being loved" is selfish at best, and "wrong" at worst.