Correction? Encouragement?

I am re-learning how to love my Bible reading. However, I’ve found this odd phenomenon occurs whenever I want to share what I’ve been learning. I find that the passages that were most encouraging to me are often the most pointed.

For instance, Titus talks about leaders in the church when Paul writes, “For an overseer, as God’s administrator, must be blameless, not arrogant, not hot-tempered, not addicted to wine, not a bully, not greedy for money, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, righteous, holy, self-controlled, holding to the faithful message as taught, so that he will be able both to encourage with sound teaching and to refute those who contradict it.” Titus 1:7-9 (HCSB)

I’m challenged by this statement. Personally, I feel glad that church leadership is not up to me, but I am encouraged to strive for this as part of being a leader in my friendships and communities, but I am still figuring out how to formulate this into something I could share.

Is it a “Christianese” kind of thing to look for hallmark-like scripture passages when sharing with others? I think in a way, it is. I am one of the most direct people I know, and even I squirm when thinking about calling others out who profess Christ and are stumbling. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and “first take the plank out of your own eye” instantly spring up out of context as a means of justification for my “taming” of God’s holy Living Word, the Sword of Truth, and the next thing you know, I’m giving a Christian side-hug and glibly saying “Keep on keepin’ on!”

Wow. Talk about some crazy habits.

What I think needs to happen is that we have to be willing to both hear and speak truth. It’s part of being in agreement with God and Christ’s bride, the church. I think correction also seems a heck of a lot more attractive when it is shared out of love, and joy for the Lord.

But please, dear random blog readers, never be offended if I share some scripture that seems like it’s telling you that I think you stink like gym socks. Whatever I share is what I’ve been sharing with myself first. It’s the remembering that not everyone is in my head thing that can be difficult.

On that note,

“To the pure, everything is pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; in fact, both their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for any good work.” Titus 1:15-16

Are you pure or defiled? Obedient or disobedient? Disciplined or detestable?

Thank You, Lord, for helping me to understand more of who You are, and for giving me ever-increasing grace to know You more with every passing day. I’d truly and honestly be dead without You.

Love,

Rachel

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