THE STORY OF JESUS: Jeremiah 36-38
“This man is not seeking the good of these people but their ruin.” (Jeremiah 38:4)
Jeremiah is being accused of discouraging the people with his words.
His message is negative, it points out the failures and sins of the people.
The question is, was his negative message helpful, or hurtful?
It all depends on the context, and the heart of the speaker.
I have heard loving people offer critique in a kind, helpful way.
And I’ve heard unloving people speak only nice words, but they were unhelpful.
There is a time for a doctor to be firm and clear about his warnings.
But there are also times when doctors need to learn some bedside manners.
The same can be said for christians, and christian teachers.
As Jesus followers, we know there is a negative side to our message.
That message needs to be spoken, but in a firm yet gracious way.
Is it evident to those to whom we speak of sin that we love them?
Is it evident that we apply this message to ourselves to, and live it ourselves?
Am I really seeking the good of the person that I am challenging?
What do you sense the Lord saying to you?
Lord, may any challenging word I speak be filtered first through Your loving, gracious heart, and may it be clear that I am no better, and equally in need of correction and challenge.