27 June 2014 by Lim Poh Ann-
Sugar-coated messages are soothing to the ear. By nature, people like to hear words of comfort, encouragement and blessing.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths (2 Timothy 4:2-4).
Love is not all soft and mushy. It is not all candy floss. Unless truth is upheld, we are just being wishy washy with our faith, fearful of confronting error or sin—whether it is in us or others.
You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked (Revelation 3:17).
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).
"Faith is good only when it engages truth; when it is made to rest upon falsehood it can and often does lead to eternal tragedy." – A. W. Tozer
Caveat: Before proceeding with correction, it is important to first build a relationship out of love and respect. Furthermore, it's not merely the words used in correction that matter; it's also about attitude and tone of voice.
Some assert that those who preach and teach God’s word are to be more “seeker-sensitive”. If that’s the case, does it mean we’re supposed to give them what they would like to hear? Did Paul bend over backwards to try to please others? Yes, in a sense.
But it was not at the expense of truth, which was never compromised:
For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
(1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
Note: Dr Lim Poh Ann is a medical practitioner. He was the former editor of Asian Beacon magazine (December 2008 – October 2011). He can be reached at his blog, Porridge for the Soul: http://limpohann.blogspot.com/
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