How many times do we cut those down who are brave enough to tell us the hard stuff? To level with us. To say, “hey, cut it out” or “you’re off base here.” I hear that in Paul’s letter. Where he was once welcomed with open arms, when the message gets real the hospitality sours. I appreciate his boldness (for who is more bold than Paul) and concern for those he’s shepherded.
Recently I had to exercise grace and understanding with a person close to me. Mercy is not in my wheelhouse, dear ladies. It’s foreign to me. I’ve always been of the ilk, “you’ve gotten yourself into this mess, now get yourself out of it.” It’s different with a person whom you love and respect and admire. Instead of being righteous, I felt sad for them. Instead of being “better than” I appreciated the times I’d felt “less than” and am currently walking through it with said person. Instead of distance, I drew closer and circled the wagons around us for strength. Instead of apathy, I chose honor.
I think it’s the right way to go. I don’t think Jesus would distance himself; I think he’d stay in the fight beside me.