13 Jul

Controversy… What does that word make you think of? What picture enters your thoughts as you ponder that word? Perhaps a disputed situation and differing descriptions of the same event. Possibly a particular subject matter that you and someone you’re close to have differing opinions about. The dictionary says this,”a prolonged public dispute, debate, or contention; disputation concerning a matter of opinion.”

In our time it is certainly safe to say that being a Christian is “controversial.” For that matter being a Muslim would certainly involve “controversy” about who or what you are and stand for. What do you have to do to start a controversy? Perhaps just being passionate about something stirs up controversy with those who don’t feel the same. Does that mean we should avoid controversy at all cost. I think not.

Our belief system as Christians is named for a man who so thoroughly challenged the status quo that religious leaders called for His death. Jesus Christ was at the center of controversy during His ministry and very likely all through life. That’s why the biblical record so often shows Him slipping away for time alone with God–He was seeking direction and receiving strength. While Jesus was fully God, He was also fully human. He knew the sting of rejection and the taste of fear, just as we do (Heb. 4:15).

Did He avoid controversy? Definitely not. But an important and fundamentally necessary factor in His being controversial is that He is The Truth. He didn’t pursue controversy for controversy’s sake. He saw controversy happen because He spoke the truth, in love. Sometimes we as Christians use the badge of controversy as an excuse to be vengeful or simply out of anger and frustration. But we really need to be careful in being “controversial.”  Number one: be certain we are speaking truth, and two: saying it in love. If we are to be light to a dark world it should be to illuminate not blast like a high powered laser.

My motivation should be to enlighten not enrage. Obviously sometimes the truth in and of itself will enrage people, simply because darkness does not like to be exposed. But I want to stay out of the truths way by sharing it with the intent and purpose of showing someone that Jesus loves them and has answers for their questions and needs. If I share the truth with anytihng but the love that comes from the heart of Christ, I risk blinding my intended object of blessing with anger and resentment. My motivation should not be to “Make sure they understand”, “Expose their incorrect thinking”, etc. I do not have to have their concession to my truth to have completed my task. I pray for it, I hope it happens, I try to do my best. But the job of conviction and understanding in their soul is the job of the Holy Spirit. If I feel I have to get their surrender to have won the issue, I probably will get frustrated, agrumentative, and start walking in the flesh. So, I plant a seed. I hope to see the fruit immediately. But I would be content to see the results of the planting by seeing that person with me in eternity with the Lord and know that God used me to touch that persons life. That is victory. I want people to see the joy and peace that God has brought to me. Not to just hear what angers me and frustrates me. I will write  more about this in my next post. Blessings to you all. Be encouraged. Our God is so great, and He loves us.


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