Wednesday, October 23, 2013

To Convict or To Love?

So, I have been convicted. And it is strong and counter-cultural and even unpopular among most of my Christian friends. When it came to me, I found my creative juices stirred up and I wrote a parable. The parable was passionate, blatant, and a bit shocking. I felt a great desire to share it with everyone I know via my blog, because I knew that I truly believed in what the parable portrayed.

As I do with most things I write, I sent it out to my dear writer friends, my husband, as well as to a close friend who lives nearby, and a sweet mentor. And, while I expected an overwhelming “YES, you should post this”, I only got that from about half of the people. What I got was a lot of resistance from those who I highly respect. And not because they disagreed with me, but they thought I was taking a great risk at offending others.

At first, I poo-pooed them. I said, “if someone's offended, then maybe they need to be. This is a conviction that is God-given. Perhaps I need to rustle some His name?”

For days, I've been trying to decide what I should it or not? I haven't felt completely settled with it. And today, I figured out why. When I began to write a “disclaimer” note before I posted, to all my real-time friends to warn them about my radical opinion and to assure them I wasn't pointing fingers...I realized...
That's exactly what I was doing.
Pointing fingers in a creative way, using my own conviction to convict His name.
I know in my heart, that Christ first and foremost wants us to continue in relationship with those He has put in our lives. My seed of unrest about the whole thing was planted as a different type of conviction—one that warned me that using the internet to “shout out” my conviction of radical opinion might be used by the enemy to sever dear, dear relationships with those around me.
And it's not about my friends being unable to handle my differing opinion, but it's about my words causing them to stumble every time they see me—does she judge me for doing the very thing she is against? It's not my conviction, but is she posting this to hint at something?--when I hadn't even mentioned it to them to their face!
Insecurity in a relationship can lead to the one thing God does NOT want in a good friendship... distrust.
The Good Shepherd leaves the flock to find the one. Every one of us count to God. If posting my opinion for all to see is only based on my trying to force conviction on someone,  is it worth turning even ONE person away from relationship (real-time, especially)?
I could more effectively grow a relationship with my friends by speaking about such convictions in the intimacy of a good conversation, giving them a chance to speak for themselves.

Funny, but I came across this quote from Billy Graham during all my soul-searching this week. Now, I realize God had been dropping hints all this time...and I'd refused to listen.

"It is the Holy Spirit's job to convict, God's job to judge and my job to love."

While my conviction is one of love, my love for God and His will for my life, it's not my job to convict.

And even though my past and future posts may convict people, it's God's conviction through my writing, and trying to convict should never be my motivation for writing them. A cop-out? No.  My motive should be to show God's love by revealing the struggles and triumphs of this mama in an authentic way. God can do the rest.

It's all about the heart isn't it? If I could honestly say that I was posting out of love, then that would bring about a different conclusion all together. This journey in Christ is not for the faint at heart, but those whose hearts are willing to wrestle their ways out of trials of every kind!

Side note: Just after I wrote this, I spoke with a good friend who filled me in on a Bible study lesson I had missed. Um, yeah. It was all about judging and social media...pointing fingers and writing opinions. Wow, God! I should have gone to study!

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