To love or not to love?

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ChananBachiyr

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello all... my wife has illuminated what seems to be a problem of mine that apparently I hadn't seen before.
I was speaking of my love for the people of God and people in general; I love to meet new people at churches and go street preaching, handing gospel tracts out, talking to strangers about the gospel; in prayer for the salvation of their souls and glory to God... and how my love for people can blind me to flaws in churches.
She said "You love people?" - I was like "Yeah, I love to hand out tracts and educate people and converse with them! Duh!"
To which she replied "I think you just love to talk about God. I wouldn't say that you love people." "You love being around saved people, but you don't like being around others."

... Well... this threw a wrench in my gears...
Do I really love people or is it just a love of evangelism?
She said it shows when I'm around certain people... that I don't particularly like them. (These people are liberal professors of Christ, but in lifestyle they deny Him. They can't accept another interpretation other than theirs, when told they're in sin they reason Scripture away, they go to church to be seen and gossip, drunkenness, worldliness... oh but they're Christian... -_-)

I realized tonight that I don't know how to be... around people like this.
I can be around all sorts of ungodly, unbelieving people better and with more love shown than I can around people like this... (I don't default to the ungodly, I'm just saying, its easier for me to show these people love because they're not dragging the name of Christ through the mud, as it were. At least they leave it alone. (And I know I'm very far from perfect, not saying I don't sin...))

Should I repent? Am I wrong?
Also, please note that I'm not just down right impolite or not nice to these people... I just... tolerate them rather than have real, Christian, brotherly love for them.

Thanks for any insight
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Daniel, I don't know if your wife discerns this correctly. The one group of people Jesus was not friendly to were the hypocrites, those who professed to love God but didn't, and whose falsity expedited the entrance of souls into Hell (see Matt 23, for instance). It is difficult to be around wolves in sheep's clothing in the church; they think they know, yet resist the truth. This saying likely fits them: "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble" (James 4:6)

Jesus didn't even tolerate them, but reproved them severely. Yet your seeking to seek to give them the truth, graciously, I think is to show love for them.
 

ChananBachiyr

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks Mr. Rafalsky. That's a good point.
I was thinking about 2 Thessalonians 3:6 and 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 to name a few... but I didn't want to be presumptuous!
I've been wrong many times lol.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
Daniel, I don't know if your wife discerns this correctly.
Or perhaps she does. I've run across a few street preachers in my day who glory in being jerks in public. I'd have to see him in action to know. She probably has.
We do not know enough to your discern your situation. You're wife knows you better than we. What you relayed here just communicate to her. May be she is on to something or maybe misreads your actions. Go to God in prayer about this and then go to her and talk it over.

Perhaps your last sentence in the OP illuminates a fair amount...
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
As has already been stated, since we have not seen you in action we are not really in a position to comment. Your wife is better informed than we are, and, while she may not be entirely right, you should take her opinion seriously.
 

ChananBachiyr

Puritan Board Freshman
Daniel, I don't know if your wife discerns this correctly.
Or perhaps she does. I've run across a few street preachers in my day who glory in being jerks in public. I'd have to see him in action to know. She probably has.
People rarely take me for a jerk. The only ones who do are the liberals. One guy in particular, when I wad only reading from Scripture, 1 John 2:15-17 to be exact, walked by me and screamed, red in the face "Shut the h*** up, nobody cares! Shut the h*** up!" He later came by and apologized explaining how he's Episcopalian and doesn't believe the Bible should be taken so seriously or literally. I said "But sir, I was only reading scripture. These aren't my words." "Well, I don't believe you should be out here. Who does this anymore? I'm Episcopalian, we don't take it so literally."
To which I just offered him a gospel tract and invited him to church, which he refused... I just turned around and continued.
More of God's people have helped and encouraged me while I'm out, than hecklers have terrorized the scene. From people getting me drinks, to coming to pray with and for me, to a simple hand shake, praising God.
I can't be a jerk lol. The gospel is already an offense to the lost, how dare I, with my attitude or language worsen the offense?
 

ChananBachiyr

Puritan Board Freshman
As has already been stated, since we have not seen you in action we are not really in a position to comment. Your wife is better informed than we are, and, while she may not be entirely right, you should take her opinion seriously.
I absolutely do and am. She's been right about a lot of things, but she's also got a lot to learn, being very young in the faith.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Graduate
I'm not a moderator but I'd appreciate a signature. There will some degree of mixed motives in all human action. Saying that, the counsel of fellow believers should never be summarily dismissed.
 

ChananBachiyr

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm not a moderator but I'd appreciate a signature. There will some degree of mixed motives in all human action. Saying that, the counsel of fellow believers should never be summarily dismissed.
Sorry about that, I'm on my mobile. I figured it would do it automatically and didn't realize.
 

ChananBachiyr

Puritan Board Freshman
It seems as thought the best form of action would be to pray for compassion... I never want to dismiss any charges given to us such as in Romans 12, "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them." "Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all."

These people dislike me because of the life that I live and I ought not expect any different...
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of My name, because they do not know Him who sent Me.
I try to tell them about what the Bible says about certain things, in the most gentle way I can, because I know that nobody like to be told they're in sin or wrong... but they reason it away and hate the fact that I shown light on their sin. Almost like the swine... :think:

So... much prayer is needed... for compassion and wisdom in how to act around them and understanding that my every action is being seen as a witness for Christ.
There seems to be a fine line between bringing honor to God amongst people of this sort, and dishonoring Him. Run them out with a whip or dine with them? Are they teachable or stubborn? Are they Christ centered or conceited? There are many factors to consider here!
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
Should I repent?
Always. Constantly.

Most times, our wives are good at seeing sin in us, or places we need to grow. The fact that she noticed and pointed it out is not something to feel discouraged about. Rather, it gives you a specific bit of repentance to work on. Since the Christian life is about ongoing repentance, this is a blessing. Listen to her, examine yourself (her observations, though probably generally on target, could also be a bit off), and repent with joy.
 

johnny

Puritan Board Sophomore
She said "You love people?" - I was like "Yeah, I love to hand out tracts and educate people and converse with them! Duh!"
To which she replied "I think you just love to talk about God. I wouldn't say that you love people." "You love being around saved people, but you don't like being around others."
Hi Daniel,
I'm going way back to the beginning of your first post.

I see this as ordinary banter between a husband and wife and I would encourage you not to read too much into it. There are plenty of overstatements here, its true that women are perceptive but they can also be having a bad day and just plain mean. There's no need to take everything your wife says as gospel truth. My wife is my biggest supporter among our friends in the public forum, but in private and if I catch her on the wrong day, well watch out.

Now if I can take a "stab in the dark" here, your wife may simply be a little angry that you are spending a lot of time handing out tracks and street preaching when there may be other things she perceives you should be doing, and this is her subtle way of pulling you up a bit. If you ask her this directly, she will disagree of course because no one (men or women) want to be seen in a relationship as suppressing other peoples freedoms,(especially today) but remember, I am taking a HUGE "stab in the dark" not knowing your wife or how she feels, so please don't take what I'm saying too seriously either.
 

JOwen

Puritan Board Junior
Let’s face it, pastors and preachers are notoriously thin-skinned. If you're not, you are miles ahead already. :)
Wives usually see husbands in a better light than most, because they see us at almost every point of our character. As a pastor, when my wife says something about my personality, I generally take heed because she has my best interest in mind, and shows a deep and abiding love toward me. I've learned to listen very closely when she speaks. When others criticize, their words strike me in a different place and way than my wife's. Even then, I recall Joel Beeke saying to me once, "In the worst of criticisms, there is generally a grain of truth." I have often reflected on that bit of wisdom.

Brother Earl said in an earlier post, "If you love preaching, become a preacher." I know what he's saying, but I would respectfully take exception to such counsel. If you love souls, study to show thyself approved, and become a preacher. That would be the better advice I think. I have known many zealous men in my time who have loved debate, loved theology, loved speaking, loved the limelight, loved the Word of God, loved Jesus, even loved evangelism, who did not however, love souls. I'm not saying this is the case for you, but for them, self-love was the prevailing love that motivated them. Many of them never made it into the ministry, or their public ministry came to a close withing the first few years. Horatius Bonar, in his book, Words to Winners of Souls said, "How many souls have been lost for want of earnestness, want of solemnity, want of love in the preacher, even when the words uttered were precious and true!" I can't get around the need for the love of souls as foundational for doing anything out of a love for Christ.
For myself, I would say that much of my early attempts at preaching were not motivated by love, but by some of the very things I mentioned above. I'm a little embarrassed to mention it. Yet the Lord, in spite of these sins, dug, and continues to dig, a well of love in my heart for people, even people who are liberals. I've even witnessed Christian liberals turn from their sin and follow on with the Lord.

To whatever degree you can (in a self-effacing way), honestly grapple with your wife's words, you do well to reflect upon them, bring them before the Lord, and ask Him to give you what you are in need of. Your post here indicates you are already open to the idea. Well done. Keep it up!

You might want to read Horatius Bonar's book. It is a real treasure.

Kind regards,
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Hello all... my wife has illuminated what seems to be a problem of mine that apparently I hadn't seen before.
Your wife brings up a valid point here, as think that it was DL Moody that was said of him that he could preach hellfire and damnation of the Lost because he did it with tears in his eyes, pleading for their lost souls. He 'earned" right to preach to them, as they know he really loved and desired them to get saved...
 
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ChananBachiyr

Puritan Board Freshman
She said "You love people?" - I was like "Yeah, I love to hand out tracts and educate people and converse with them! Duh!"
To which she replied "I think you just love to talk about God. I wouldn't say that you love people." "You love being around saved people, but you don't like being around others."
Hi Daniel,
I'm going way back to the beginning of your first post.

I see this as ordinary banter between a husband and wife and I would encourage you not to read too much into it. There are plenty of overstatements here, its true that women are perceptive but they can also be having a bad day and just plain mean. There's no need to take everything your wife says as gospel truth. My wife is my biggest supporter among our friends in the public forum, but in private and if I catch her on the wrong day, well watch out.

Now if I can take a "stab in the dark" here, your wife may simply be a little angry that you are spending a lot of time handing out tracks and street preaching when there may be other things she perceives you should be doing, and this is her subtle way of pulling you up a bit. If you ask her this directly, she will disagree of course because no one (men or women) want to be seen in a relationship as suppressing other peoples freedoms,(especially today) but remember, I am taking a HUGE "stab in the dark" not knowing your wife or how she feels, so please don't take what I'm saying too seriously either.
You're right... I don't take everything she says as the gospel truth. I do examine myself every time she says something about me though, whether she be joking or not and I take it from there. That's the reason I'm concerned. I can see that I don't treat them the same way that I do other people... I don't feel the same around them.
I can be friendly to the outwardly ungodly, atheists and rebels and the like... and of course, being around church family (any church, but especially my own) is even more comfortable than being with much my real family.
But these people... these that claim the name of Christ in word and the name of Beelzebub with there lifestyle, that claim to read His word, but its collecting dust in the exact same place on their table week after week, activities are more important than growing in grace and knowledge, biblical training and catechizing of their children is laughable to them.
Its like Christ is nothing more to them than the cross jewelry around their necks or on their contemporary T-shirts.

I can see that I treat them differently... but I'm there for them when they need me, to pick up their kids and/or to watch them when they go out for dates, which is really the only time they call my wife and I. We're civil, we're family... but there is a barrier between them and myself.

I just don't want to be unloving to anyone... and if the way that I feel toward them within is wrong, then I need to repent and ask God to help me change it, but if its a natural thing, then I don't want to be falsely convicted. Its not like I'm hateful to them, I just see through their lies about their faith and I'm not reluctant to call them out on it.
But that goes for anyone :lol:
 

ChananBachiyr

Puritan Board Freshman
Also, I can't help but wonder if my wife's statement was based upon the blurring standards of the secular world today...
The very understanding of what love and compassion is, is constantly changing in the world today.
I believe that love is defined as "seeking the other party's highest good." Therefore, in seeking to love my family, along with loving the God of the Bible in Christ Jesus to the best of my ability, I seek to relate some sort of biblical truth to them as often as I can. Often times, that comes by way of explaining how I understand particular Scriptures and how God has enabled me to resist sins, which are addressed in the Scriptures and which they are living in, but I confront them in a way that exposes my faults, past or present, to soften the blow... but they'll have none of it.

But that, I suppose, is just part of it... I probably just need to ask God for more compassion in dealing with them.
 

johnny

Puritan Board Sophomore
Thank you Daniel for your wonderful reply.

We are encouraged by Christ not to rip up the tares but to leave them alone.
We shouldn't be surprised that they exist, or use them as a foil for repressed righteous anger.
Don't beat yourself up about it though, just be obedient, between their own Master they will stand or fall Romans 14:4

There are some who think that the study of Theology is of no value compared to being loving and having nice relationships with people. Its very frustrating trying to find common ground with people like this, they don't understand that they are missing out on so much. Its a dangerous position to be in, especially when we are encouraged to study over and over in the NT.

I do hope you have at least a few Christian friends that are on the same wavelength.
I couldnt imagine being alone with no one to discuss the doctrines of Grace with at our current church (Its all we ever do) Besides this, what do we have in common if not Gods word and the application and study of it.
 

ChananBachiyr

Puritan Board Freshman
Amen!
Well, I don't really have friends.
My work schedule leaves me feeling like a zombie all the time, and the time that I do have I want to be with my wife, who is my best friend.
I used to have a friend to talk theology with and go evangelize with... but when I asked him about reformed theology he said he'd have no dealings with a calvinist. Needless to say, we rarely speak anymore and if we do we end up further away than when we started because he can't not bring it up.

The pastor of the new church we're going to has made himself available often for discussion which has been crucial in my move to a presbyterian church. We've sat several times for while and discussed things, so I'd like to think he's a friend.
Other than my wife and pastor, all my discussing goes on here on PB or on FB.
 
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ChananBachiyr

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you everyone for your great insight and wisdom!
As I seek to honor Christ in all my ways and pray for His help in this area, I hope that you all will lift me up in your prayers along with our other brethren around the world who are encountering the same troubles. (1 Peter 5:9) (James 5:16)
 
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