Monday, January 24, 2011

Cruel to Be Kind

You gotta be
Cruel to be kind, in the right measure
Cruel to be kind, it's a very good sign
Cruel to be kind, means that I love you
Baby, you gotta be cruel to be kind

Cruel to Be Kind, Nick Lowe, 1979

No one wants to hear what they are doing wrong. That includes me! It's true, I can get defensive when someone points out my faults. I want people to only see the best in me. But the truth is, I mess up! There I said it!

Christians, like everyone else, don't want to hear when they get it wrong. As a matter of fact, when confronting a Christian brother or sister about their sin, you're less apt to get repentance than you are to get told what YOUR sin is in return.

The Bible is clear, we are to speak the love. That means, when we talk to someone about their sin the first thing we need to do is a heart check. Are we pointing out the issue in anger, in pride, or is it truly love - that we care so much for that person we can't stand to see their sin.

Next, we have to check out our own behavior. You can't point out the speck in your friend's eye, if you have a plank in your own! If you are trapped in bondage to sin, its best to work on your own issues before pointing out someone elses.

Matthew 18 gives clear guidelines on speaking to someone about sin. First, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over." Just between the two of you! This isn't a time of public humilation. It's a time to speak to someone privately. Matthew 18 goes on to further explain the guidelines if this attempt fails.

Some might think pointing out their sin to them is cruel. To that, we could sing you have to be Cruel to be kind, in the right measure, cruel to be kind, is a very good sign. Cruel to be kind, means that I love you. Make sure that you aren't cruel, but kind in speaking the truth.

Speak the truth in love...In the right measure...It's a very good sign...It means that I love you.

Chatty Kelly


Sue J. said...

"All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness." Hebrews 12:11

It's tough to hear the truth, but we can't begin the process of change and growth without it. God's uses other people to speak that truth in love.

Melanie said...

I think "in the right measure" is the key.

Anonymous said...

"Wounds (via words) from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." Proverbs 27:6

I agree, it can hurt to hear about a wrong we've done. When wrapped with love and humility by a faithful friend, we can trust the words spoken and take them to God to see what wonderful work He is doing in us.