11/10/14: Saying the Hard Things
Sometimes, the hard things just have to be said to the ones we love. I remember some years ago hearing the words “tough love” being used to describe the times when, as difficult as it might be to say it, the naked truth must be voiced. If the recipient fails to see the truth, devastating consequences will result. The major problem, however, is that usually, the person in the position to see the truth struggles with how to present the information, and no matter how soft the approach, the one receiving the information rarely takes it with ease. Still it’s clear that the truth must be told. The prayer is that the truth will somehow penetrate the heart, have the necessary impact, and affect the change needed so the negative consequences can be avoided.
In our current cultural climate, though, Satan has so twisted the truth, that bearers of it are labeled as judgmental haters and “phobics”. You had better not speak out contradicting socially acceptable norms. If you dare to do so, be ready for a barrage name-calling and rejection, the likes of which you’ve never seen before. The curious thing is that the same ones lambasting your right to voice your opinions are the ones screaming about allowing them to have the right to voice theirs. Double standard at its best.
God’s word never backs down from cultural norms or socially accepted practices, so neither should we. God’s word boldly proclaims the hard things, and we are under obligation to do the same. The prophet Ezekiel said straight out, “Then the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me and said to me ‘Speak!’” (Ezekiel 11:5 NKJ) And what was the message God had him to proclaim? “I will judge you… And you shall know that I am the Lord; for you have not walked in My statutes nor executed My judgments, but have done according to the customs of the Gentiles which are all around you” Ezekiel 11:11–12 (NKJ).
Yes, God is love, but we must not forget that God is also a God of wrath. One attribute does not cancel out the other. Unless we are living under the blood of Jesus, shunning the ways of the world (with the help of the Holy Spirit), we are heading for doom. God told Ezekiel that those living “according to the customs of the Gentiles which are all around you” are not walking in His statutes. Much that is socially acceptable and culturally “normal” is spiritually, flat-out wrong and sinful. Listen to Hebrews 6:4-6:
- For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame (NKJ).
Saying the hard things is never fun and its never easy, but it’s always necessary. Pray that God’s truth, however hard it may be to hear, will be effectively communicated to those we love. Worship God today for the truth of His word that is able to penetrate hearts and pull those we love back from the brink of catastrophe.
©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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