Balancing Act

Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt. Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. Lev 19:17,18

Quite odd verses to put together. It appears to be saying: Don’t hate your fellow Christian in your heart, but rebuke them openly, for looking the other way at sin makes you complicit in it. Don’t take revenge or bear grudges, but love your neighbor as yourself. It’s odd to us because we have often been led to believe by the world that love does look the other way, that love is open minded and tolerant and accepting. A love that calls sin what it is and shows others their faults (between you and  him alone) while being gracious, forgiving, bearing no grudge and seeking no retribution leaves heads scratching whichever way we tend to fail in this area.

Narrow is the way? No kidding, sometimes I’m not sure if the Lord’s way is more a balance beam or a high wire act. But I know we are working with a net.

Lord, thank you for your grace. I pray we would not take advantage, but seek to walk in grace and love as you define it. Give us boldness and wisdom to what to speak and when. Show us any anger or frustration or bitterness we need to open up to you about and release to you  today, so we can love others as you love us. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.