Truth and Love: Support to Identify What's Wrong

After moving to our present home, I neglected / procrastinated to look at the side of a building on our property that backed up to a neighbor’s fence. As a result, the 12 by 24 feet area became a tall thicket, overrunning the neighbor’s fence but also damaging the back side of my building. After two seasons, the elderly neighbor, a retired minister, rang my door bell. Kindly he informed me of the problem. (Kindly, because he was sensitive to the potential for people to be offended.) I was horrified and embarrassed by my oversight, hugely apologized, and worked the next several days to correct the problem. Then I thanked him for informing me.

Well-intending friends sometimes tell me I need to be more positive, that I tend to identify problems. I respond that it must be part of the equipping for ministry God has called me to, also because of my temperament type which tends to focus on what’s wrong. (The world needs a few people like that, you know.)

Satan (the demonic powers), our sinful nature, and the world’s culture call us to compromise – that is, to either condemn (to be negative about) what is right (supports health) or to approve (to be positive or say nothing about) what is wrong (destroys health). But "speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15) requires us to be positive about what is right and grieve about what is wrong, and if we are called to it and enabled for it, to communicate that.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15F18