My random brain was bouncing around this morning as I was walking and this is what I was thinking about.
In light of Kimmy's recent successful surgery and also in light of Sean's messages on Sunday about truth, think about this. Would people line up to have a surgery if they didn't use anesthesia? The scalpel is a very sharp instrument made to cut precisely where the surgeon applies the blade, but without anesthesia there would still be extreme pain and many would die from shock before they could realize the benefits of the surgery. On the other side of the patient there is the anesthesiologist. What good would it be if he just put you to sleep and you woke up with all the same preexisting conditions? Sure, you would have slept, but there would be no long lasting benefits from his work.
Here is where I connect this to Sean's message; I hope. Truth and love go hand in hand. The Word is sharper than any 2 edged sword, or scalpel, and yet Jesus, the master surgeon and anesthesiologist used both perfectly together. He, like no other, had the corner on truth, as He is Truth revealed. He could have wielded truth like a giant sword, flaying open all who came near to Him, and in certain instances He did that. But He also used the "anesthesia" of love and kindness to administer truth as He went, It's His kindness that leads us to repentance, Romans 2:4. He had every right to slice people with the truth and hold them to a perfect standard, but He knows our frame, that we are weak and but dust.
If we are Christians, like Christ, then we must endeavor to be more like Him each day. We must balance truth and love together so that the world will know we are His and give them a reason to ask us about the hope that is in us. If we don't give truth, or if we give truth without love, why would they want what we have.
May God grant us the wisdom, strength, courage and humility to be balanced in this area; souls depend on it. May our lives be both extremely sharp and filled with compassion as we walk in obedience to His calling to make disciples. Disciples won't follow someone they don't view as one they want to be like and they won't follow long one who is too harsh in their approach. I think this is why Jesus calls us to be servants and leaders.