As I was reading Galatians I went to this verse. As far as having “favsies” this is probably one of my top 5 favorite Bible verses. Then I started thinking about it–why has it been my favorite? That’s when the title, Youth vs Truth came to mind.
In my youth, I used this verse as a reason to be a jerk to people. I incorrectly took scripture, and made it so that if someone was wronged by me, I could reason with myself. “If I’m trying to please God and not seek man’s approval, I shouldn’t be concerned with how they feel. It’s not my responsibility to have everyone feel great!” There are definitely times when this verse actually means just that. However, upon some meditation, I had to confess to myself and to my God that this was not my intention. I was using this verse because I wanted to be right. I did not want to have to deal with consequences such as broken people who were making bad decisions and I called them out on it. I didn’t want to lift others up and humbly serve them. I didn’t care about the people my God, who I supposedly was following, told me to love unconditionally.
In my maturing process (as I’m not immature enough to say it’s complete), I have come to some realizations. One of them is regarding this specific verse. It should never be used as an excuse to not have to deal with people’s brokenness. It should never be used as a reason to be unfair, or uncaring when dealing with situations that call for confrontation.
The gospel is offensive. If I am pursuing Christ with every ounce of my being, chances are people will be offended. I believe the meaning of this verse to me has transformed from Youth to Truth:
Youth – make a decision/claim/statement, if people are upset or offended, it’s their own fault and you just keep moving on
Truth – make a decision/claim/statement, if people are upset or offended, lift them up to your Father. Love them like the Son did. Pray that the Holy Spirit will change their heart and they will be humbled by God, not you.
Above all, pray for yourself. Pray that your decision/claim/statement is in line with the vision God has given you. Pray that your heart towards those people will not be hardened. Pray that you’re not using scripture to be right, but rather to always further God’s Kingdom.