Christians are called to be light and show God’s love to the world. But in our modern society, things have gotten a little twisted. Have you ever expressed your disagreement or expressed a need to an unsaved friend or family member, only to be hit right between the eyes with a sarcastic retort that bashes your faith and leaves you feeling judged and questioning your own actions?
We are called to love one another; in fact John 13:34-35 tells us that we will be known as Jesus’ disciples because of our love for one another. The problem is that love isn’t just the “warm fuzzy” feeling that our society often makes it out to be. Love is not only kind, it does not delight in evil, but rejoices with truth (1 Corinthians 13:6). We are called to speak the truth with love, not gloss over it for our own comfort or the comfort of another. We are called to live a life that reflects our faith, not our fear.
I speak about what I call “Christian Co-dependency” to make the point that God did not call us to be co-dependent. We are not called to accept abusive, addictive or other destructive behaviors. This is not kind, nor is it loving. When we allow ourselves to be manipulated by our fear of what others my think of us, we lose sight of who we are.
As Christians, we are called to be led by the Holy Spirit. We need to be able to hear “above the noise” that radiates from others, our environment and our own wounds and emotions. We need to perform “acts of kindness” that are truly kind, not just comfortable.
In a practical sense, we need to slow down and let God lead before we commit to an action. Take a time out and ask yourself just a few simple questions:
- Am I agreeing with something, or remaining silent because it is kind or out of fear?
- If I do this, could it hurt the person I am trying to help?
- Who is leading, me or God?
I believe that our emotional and spiritual health are intrinsically linked, and as we become more secure in God and who we are in him we can walk out healthier and more peaceful lives even in the midst of difficult circumstances. We grow to become capable of being loving, even when acting in love is not easy.