So, here I am, a week into the challenge, and I’ve noticed something very important: I spent a good chunk of this week thinking about what I’d like to read.
That is not a good sign.
It also didn’t help that my friend and coworker Noel brought down commentaries that he had duplicates of, with the offer to purchase today; but that’s beside the point.
I’ve also spent a good chunk of time reading through Proverbs and have been incredibly convicted by what I’ve found there. Reading Proverbs 4:24 (“Put away from you crooked speech and put devious talk far from you.”) opened my eyes to some issues I really struggle with.
What I’ve been reminded of over the last few days, in part because of the John MacArthur/Mark Driscoll debacle, is that you can be right about something and still be a complete jerk, if you’re saying something to be right.
One of my great issues is speaking the truth without love. This is a very dangerous thing, as I can be incredibly mean when I do this. This is something the older men who are investing in me have reminded me of more than once. I can absolutely devastate people if I’m not being careful with my words. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue,” says Solomon in Proverbs 18:21. Honestly, I don’t know how seriously I take those words, because I am extremely committed to truth. I love truth.
Although, I think I sometimes love to be “right” more. I speak the truth, or at the very least what I perceive is the truth, but I don’t always speak the truth in love. And if I don’t speak with love, am I really speaking the truth at all?
At the same time, I don’t want to be overly “gracious” (the cheap “grace” that doesn’t condemn sin as sin). If I do not desire to see my friends and family, both Christian and non-Christian alike, repent, I am neither loving nor truthful.
Seems like a rock and a hard place, doesn’t it?
On the one hand, I can either be a giant D.B. and shoot everyone whether it’s deserved or not… or I can be a coward and insult God.
Unless I choose option three, which is repentence. I have to repent of my pride and my arrogance—and my cowardice. I need to take Solomon’s warning seriously. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits,” says Proverbs 18:21. So what fruit will I eat? Death or life?
Five more weeks. Let’s see where this takes me.