Today I was with a group of men in the jail. One of them was very troubled because his son was getting into all kinds of trouble. He couldn’t understand why, because (he claimed) he loved his son and was always telling him he loved him.
I felt something stir in my spirit, looked him straight in the eye, and said that was a lie. He didn’t love his son, he loved his drugs more – and thus had not cared enough to be part of his son’s life as his son was growing up. This deeply wounded his son, who felt unloved and worthless because of it – and was now acting out.
He was shocked at first, but then started weeping and admitted it was true that he loved his drugs more than his son. He then began to openly confess and repent. He found Jesus this morning, and also found God’s forgiveness. But it would not have happened without giving him the bad news of his own lies and deceit.
Those who try to candy coat the Gospel seldom produce real fruit. The Gospel is edgy, and it is salvation for those who are lost and know it. Jesus also went to the lost and demanded repentance, while at the same time showing great compassion.
I find that we need to likewise embrace both compassion and a message of repentance – else there is seldom transforming redemption.
~ Jim Wright