No Easy Answers
As a pastor I often have the privilege of meeting with people dealing with questions that are not easily answered. They need to process their thoughts, and I am given the privilege to engage those thoughts. I do so because I care. My God-given calling, my vocation, my reason to care, is simply stated, for Jesus and the Gospel and the good of all people. I do not perfectly fulfill my calling, but most of the time I do embrace it eagerly.
I often meet with people who are feeling the tension between living in a world that is both bad and beautiful and desiring to glorify God to make a difference in that world. It is nothing new. We live in a world that is both blessed by God and curse by sin. Tinged with many illustrations of God's good grace and tainted by outcroppings of evil. Into this world we are planted in the places where God desires for us to bloom via an infusion of common grace for the common good.
People I meet with are feeling the tension and are trying to decide whether to embrace it or not. At varying degrees of spiritual depth and understanding, they are teetering on the brink of opposing viewpoints. Belief and unbelief, faithfulness and unfaithfulness, a God-centered view of life or a man centered one. I have no easy answers, but I do have the biblical ones. I believe the Bible speaks today. I believe that many of our quandaries have answers that are not the easiest but the best. I believe we must therefore be courageous and give the best answers not the easiest ones.
Speaking the truth in love means saying things to people you love that are uncomfortable for them to hear, even though good and right and true. Everyonr has their own unique story and their backstory frames their present reality. In engaging the reality of people's everyday lives helpers (aka, biblical counselors, or disciple-making friends with God's Word at hand) are often called to embrace the tension between being liked or being helpful. I find they don't have to be mutually exclusive, but if I major on the former I usually fall short on the latter. It's a helper's catch-22 that shouldn't be as hard as it is sometimes for so many of us.
If I'm committed to the way of life built upon what Jesus Christ has done and convinced that it is the only way to true happiness and fulfillment, then it is my duty, my moral obligation, to point people to Jesus Christ and Him crucified, risen, and coming again as the answer to their problems. The challenge lies in finding ways to creatively connect to people's lives. I have found that it is most often in stories or illustrations or word pictures that the dots are connected in people's hearts and minds.
Made in His image and hoping for His blessing, people long to be settled and secure in an unsettled and insecure world. There are no easy answers, but there is Truth. God uses His chosen instruments to point others to the Truth. I am praying for all those involved in helping peple by the Spirit of God to use the Word of God to help lead people to Jesus and the Gospel as the best answer for everything.