Would you rather… be known as nice or loving? This question was asked in a daily devotional I was reading by Pastor Rodney Hunt. It made me take an assessment.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being nice to people. That’s a good thing. But it’s pretty simple and tidy. And I have to admit part of my motivation to be nice is really based on my desire to be liked.
Being loving…yeah, that gets kind of messy, deep, sometimes complicated. Have you ever had loved ones – you truly want the best for them – but you see them headed down a road that only leads to pain? You know being nice isn’t good enough. You have to be loving, not harshly criticizing, but speaking “the truth in love.” Yes, it’s hard and it flies in the face of my being liked thing…but because you truly love them and want the best for them, they deserve nothing less. This “being loving” is often awkward and messy but worth it. How do I know this? I’ve been on the receiving end and although it may not always be well received at first, later, you are thankful someone loves you enough to “speak the truth in love.”
God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. – Ephesians 4:15 (The Message)