>A friend of mine recently shared with me his convictions that he would no longer be afraid to say what needs to be said even if it was hard. He was speaking in the context of pre-marital counseling – not ignoring his discernment if it became clear that two people should NOT get married. I’ve struggled with the same burden. There have been times as a pastor where I know that I need to say something, but my fear of man or my pastoral concern to not hurt the person keeps me from saying what needs to be said.
I experienced this just last night again. I received a call from a student that she was having a hard time at a place that I knew wasn’t right for her. In fact, I could not write her a reference to this place because from my research I discerned that something was not right about it. I tried to have a conversation with her about it before she left, but I just got busy, and I chickened out. Having her call me last night with her realizations about how bad the place was confirmed this for me. I should have said something. I should have protected her doctrinally. I should have contended for pure faith…but I didn’t. I didn’t say anything because I knew it meant a lot to her to go, and I didn’t want to disappoint her.
Not anymore. Like my friend, I’m not going to hold my tongue from speaking the truth when it needs to be said. With grace and truth, I will speak as lovingly as possible, remembering that it is necessary to obey God rather than men. God, grant me boldness and courage, love and sensitivity to speak the truth to those you’ve entrusted to me. Grant me discernment to contend for a pure doctrine so that you might be honored and glorified.