One of the hardest things to do as Christians is to uphold the truth of the Word, while at the same time not judging or condemning people. Comments like: “If they’re offended at what I say, they need to take it up with God because all I am doing is spreading his Word” seem to be an excuse for self-righteousness and does nothing but fuel hate and anger. Many non-believers hatred of Christianity steams from this idea that Christians are hypocritical and judgmental. In many ways, I think they have a point. But do we just sit back and let the people we care about make sinful and damaging choices without speaking up?
This topic is much easier said behind the safety of a computer screen. When I was wishy washy in my faith and even strong in my faith, I’ve never wanted to be the annoying jerk that feels they need to call out every person’s flaw and threaten them with hell if they don’t repent. But last night, someone I care about mentioned wanting to do something that is totally against God and everything I stand for. Something that I never thought in a million years I’d hear this person say. And anger fueled within me. I became the person I never wanted to be and wanted to lash out at them and tell them how wrong they were. The only way we can spread the Word lovingly is by remembering God’s mercy for us. In the midst of our sin, he sent his son, Jesus, to die for us. We can’t console with love and compassion until we realize that God’s grace is the only difference between the sinner and saint. Never compromising, but speaking from a place of love, not anger.
Loving In Spite Of Sin
Your words set my heart on fire,
Anger burns, steaming like smoldering coals,
But I can’t allow the heat
To escape my mouth.
I close my chimney and seal my lips shut.
But the pressure boils.
Smoke clouds my vision
Without the flue damper open.
How do I stay true to my heart
Without scalding the recipients with my words?
How do I strip away the pride, anger, and self-righteousness
So that only God’s voice will be heard?
How do I keep loving them
When their behaviors disgust me?
How do I walk on the path of truth
With love, but without compromise?
The bonfire burns in my belly
And ash builds on the tip of my tongue.
My conscience is convicted,
But my love is dazed and stunned.
A glance in the mirror
Reveals your divine wisdom
and shatters my arrogant pride
In broken shards scattered across the floor.
My reflection reveals
That I’m just as filthy as the next man.
In your eyes, by my own righteousness,
I am just as unclean as the darkest sin.
And I have not been able
To bathe in soap and water and scrub away
my mistakes by own own actions,
But only by bathing in your precious blood.
Guide me in grace.
May my actions and words
Always wear your face,
And may my convictions be spread with love.
– Poem Written by Justin Farley
A Voice in the Wilderness – A Chapbook of Poems About God by Justin Farley
Nature’s Bounty – A Chapbook of Poems About Nature by Justin Farley
Thorns of Love – Sad Love Poems About Heartbreak and Break Ups by Justin Farley
My current collections of poetry, all available on Amazon, all written by me, Justin Farley. A Voice in the Wilderness is a chapbook of Christian Poetry, written about the joys, doubts, struggles, and sorrows of the Christian life. Nature’s Bounty is a collection of nature poetry celebrating my love for the outdoors. And Thorns of Love is the first book of three in a series of poems about love, this one being sad, breakup poems.
I write to reach the hearts of the searching, the suffering, the still fighting. I write to soothe my soul and hopefully to soothe yours too. I write to celebrate and attempt to put words to the beauty of life. Here are my published books on Amazon. More to come. A huge, humble thank you to anyone who supports my work.