By Michael Clark and Susanne Schuberth
It is not the loveable person that needs to be loved. It is the unlovable person, the clamoring child, the rebellious adult, the nasty friend, the raging parent, in a nutshell, it is the SINNER that needs to be healed. If we react to misbehavior by speaking mere words alone, they might be able to bring across what we mean, but without love they will never touch the heart of someone who has gone wild. “Words” alone are based on knowledge… what we think we know or what we feel. But if our words are not tempered with grace, they can kill and wound. For it is written,
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
(Proverbs 15:18 RSVA)
Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.
(James 1:19-20 RSVA)
Just yesterday I (Susanne) read about some pastors’ concern regarding the need to continually preach the gospel to the sinner. That is not wrong, so far. However, if they only preach it and are not yet able to live what they preach, can their message really be trusted (or taken to heart)? They believe if a message is or was true, it must be preached anytime. Yet preaching a message without listening to the Holy Spirit can be like reading a phone book to your audience. If the Spirit does not make a message alive, the words are “dead”and they fall to the ground, unheard.
Praying for God’s guidance before we speak is always good, especially when dealing with those who are in rebellion. Teenagers go through rebellion as they try to get free of parental controls over them and want to find out for themselves who THEY are and what THEY want to do in life. On the one hand they want the security of their parents’ home, but on the other they hate the rules and value system that make it a secure place. Even adults rebel at times for different reasons and it is not any easier to deal with them, is it? And how often do we rebuke someone that is “going off” on us with our own flesh in mind wanting to get even? But when we REACT to another person’s flesh with our flesh, we only pour more fuel on the fire. Indeed, lavishing a plethora of “wise words” on others is always more of a hindrance than a help as the following Scripture confirms.
When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is prudent. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the mind of the wicked is of little worth. (Proverbs 10:19-20 RSVA)
And then we have Paul’s words of “choice silver” from the Lord,
And though I… understand all mysteries, and all knowledge… and have not love, I am nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:2 KJ2000)
Words spoken, no matter how wise and filled with knowledge they are, are worth nothing without love. Or in other words,
“It is love alone that gives worth to all things.”
― Teresa of Ávila
❤ Brothers and sisters, LOVE is all we need. ❤