Don't Soft Peddle The Truth
Let's see. How do the expressions go?
"I'm a truth teller", "I'll always let you know what I think", "I'm just being honest", and on and on it goes. Hmm... where does kindness fit into that equation?
There's an old acronym TNK before you speak.
Is it True?
Is it Necessary?
Is it Kind?
It's the "kind" part that usually gets missed, and without it we're simply extolling our opinion or venting. Usually not a good outcome following that approach. We learn more from Joseph. A lot more.
The Hard Work of Reconciliation
Offending each other. It's probably the most common ailment of the human condition. And reconciling with those who have offended us or whom we have offended is also probably the hardest thing that any of us has or will have to do. Once again, we learn from our continuing saga of Joseph and his brothers.
Why Do Christians Suffer?
When C.S. Lewis was asked this question, his response was....
"Because they're the only ones who know how"
A Christian father this past week, somewhere in that part of the world that is persecuting Christians, just saw his son tortured, then both of them crucified, hung to suffer for two days before dying. They did not waiver. I can only hope I have that level of courage. Story after story over the centuries give testimony to the power of the Living God through the Holy Spirit because of the reality of what Jesus did for us. Of course, this does not minimize any level of loss and suffering we go through. It doesn't have to be dying by torture. Any of our losses are real. And, hopefully, we see resolution in this life.
Joseph's story is not some nicely packaged bedtime bible story. It was real. He did not have hindsight to know how or if his circumstances would ever get resolved. Sometimes it takes nearly a lifetime. But God is always faithful.
It does sound nice doesn't it? If only everybody could just be nice to each other than the world would be a great place. Well, actually that's exactly what's going to happen, but not without the first goal which absolutely has to be accomplished in each and every individual life. We need to be made right. We need first to be brought back home to Him, to deal with the sin problem in our life and bring us to restoration in life with Him. That gives us restoration with each other. Now that's a much better plan.
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