Do you value being open and honest? Most of us do, but when we are direct like that, we often voice our beliefs and opinions in such a way that we directly or indirectly imply that others are wrong.
In fact, it is so easy to disagree with others (and it’s so easy for people to be offended), that I much prefer to see how I can encourage and help instead. Sometimes, when disagreements are great (like with the gay issue discussed in an earlier post), it can be hard. But think of it this way… How many doses of encouragement does it take before a single dose of correction (i.e., disagreement) can be received? How much more will you listen to someone who you know desires the best for you over the one who spends all their time trying to convince you you’re wrong?
Yes, we should be open and honest, but even more, we should be loving — which includes bearing all things, believing all thing, hoping all things and enduring all things (see 1 Cor 13:7).
The Greek word for “bearing” in that verse is “stego” and has to do with covering, as in protecting or concealing the errors and faults of others.
The Greek word for “believing” is “pisteuo” and has to do with entrusting someone and putting confidence in them.
The Greek word for “hoping” is “elpizo” and has to do with trusting and relying on someone, to put your hope in them.
The Greek word for “enduring” is “hypomeno” and has to do with remaining with someone, tarrying with them and not fleeing or leaving them.
The Bible says we can understand all mysteries and have all knowledge (verse 2) , but if we don’t have love, we are nothing. What is more important then? Convincing people of the truth as we understand it or loving themas described above, and in that love, sharing your heart with them?