Encouragement and Critique: A Resolution
Courtesy of our sin, it is always easier to criticize than to encourage. I was forcefully reminded of this recently when I had a friend look over the draft of a writing project I was working on. He rightly noted that it came off as angry, attacking the same old targets in evangelicalism that have been hammered for years. I scrapped that draft and I’m working on a new one.
I was reminded in another way when Jaimie and I visited my family in Colorado last weekend. I was having a conversation with my youngest sister about her church, and I disagreed with some of the approaches they take. (If you’re curious, this piece on Pillar on the Rock will about sum it up.) As I’ve slowly been learning in my relationship with Jaimie, though, it’s easy to overload people in that sort of discussion – especially when it comes across as attacking our church, an institution rightly near and dear to our hearts. (At least, hopefully our local church is dear to our hearts!)
When we see things amiss in the world – especially things that involve the people or institutions we love most – it is easy to simply jump into a critical mode and assume that people will understand where we’re coming from. This is particularly true when the issue is significant and clear in Scripture. Because we see it clearly, and recognize its importance, we can assume others will be quick to understand the point as well. Read on, intrepid explorer →