When faced with the hard things, we often want to avoid them, and excuse ourselves.
Let’s talk about two places where Paul did the hard, loving thing (toward the Corinthians):
- 1 Cor 2:1-5 — Power of God v. persuasion through human will
Paul was willing to purposefully forgo the use of his skills and talents in order to fully rely on the power of God. He didn’t want to lean heavily on his own skills of speech and persuasion.
QUESTION FOR US: Where am I tempted to trust in MY strength, talent, and abilities in my mothering, and in our home, rather than in God?
- 1 Cor 2:1-3a, 2 Cor 2:4 — Paul confronted sin and told the truth when lying/avoiding would be easier.
There are so many times in a mom’s life when it would be so much easier to keep sitting down rather than to firmly deal with sin. Perhaps even more difficult, there are many times when– as a wife– I believe God will use us to confront sin in our husband’s life.
Because he love the Corinthians, Paul told the truth about sin.
QUESTION FOR US: Am I willing to lovingly speak the truth to my family?
Paul did the hard, loving thing, rather than the easier thing.
Jesus lived out this same principle:
- took time to explain the parables
- had compassion for the needy even when He was bone-weary
- spoke hard truths (rich young ruler, woman at the well)
I DIDN’T WANT TO DO THE HARD, LOVING THING
Recently I had a situation with one of our children. He confronted me, mildly, about the way I’d corrected him. But the method wasn’t to my liking. I pondered his words, and his method, and decided to ask Doug for his thoughts.
(eeeeeeeeek, you had to ask didn’t you?)
“Might be a good chance to confess to him, if you feel like you should, and identify with him as a fellow sinner.”
OH MAN! As you might imagine, that was NOT what I was hoping to hear.
I texted back, more-than-somewhat peeved:
“I know you are right. I do not want to do that, though. But I know I should. Ask me later if I did.”
Only a few moments later, (of course! Isn’t that just like God?) that same child walked in to the room alone (which almost never happens in our busy house).
I did what Doug said: I humbled myself and confessed that my tone had been wrong. I asked forgiveness for hurting his feelings. He forgave me, and we had a wonderful talk.
I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t feel like doing it. Until the words came out of my mouth I would have preferred not to say them. But doing that hard thing turned out to be for our GOOD.
The easier thing would have:
- allowed me to remain prideful
- maintained my “self-respect”
- set a bad example
- put up a *minor* barrier in our relationship
I say minor because that’s really how these things work, isn’t it?
If we’re all really trying to follow Jesus, it’s rare that a major hurt clouds our field of vision. But wowzers, those “minor” flare-ups can, brick by brick, build a barrier in our relationships.
Later, I texted Doug:
Talked with ________. And it was good. Crazy how our pride rises up to try to keep us from doing what is right!
Often, in close relationships, we have the opportunity to do the harder thing or the easier thing. And almost always, the harder thing is the one that is the most long-term beneficial, and the most loving. Paul stands with Jesus as our examples in this.
Today, will you do the hard, loving thing when the opportunity arises?