The older I get, the less excited I am about theory . . . and the more I care about reality. Who cares if the stuff that flows from my pen stimulates the intellect and gives folks fodder for philosophizing? So what if these words tickle ears and answer questions nobody is asking? Provocative, relevant, issue-related writing with enough creativity and honesty to keep the reader reading is what interests me . . . not much else. And so every once in a while I frown, squint, and peer objectively at a page and ask hard questions: Am I in touch? Is this worth mentioning? Does it scratch an itch? Will it make any difference?
I did that after I wrote a column on an “affair.” Just decided to face the facts, say it straight, and risk being bold rather than subtle. Another risk is being overzealous and offensive. There’s a fine line between being necessarily straightforward and needlessly blunt. Jesus, who never once compromised with sins of the flesh, had a remarkable way of keeping the sinner’s dignity intact, a la John 8. I love that about Him as much as anything He modeled.
Anyway, the upshot of all this is a letter that I received in response to my “affair” column. The person who wrote it reinforced my hope that my words would indeed connect and communicate. Here are a few excerpts.
I rarely write letters like this! But I feel so strongly about what you’ve written. . . . I was the unfaithful partner in a marriage. Although it was many years ago, it is still a painful memory. It did happen before I knew the Lord, and it has been His grace that has healed and sustained our marriage. My point in writing at all is really to commend and encourage you to continue to address these very difficult subjects. A stand must be taken and too many evade the confrontation. . . . Thank you for your convictions and the courage to speak on them.
So I include this here to ask, again, if this speaks to anyone out there. Perhaps you are still on the fence. Still trying to break off an illicit relationship and come back to your original commitment. Wondering if you dare. If you can. If it’s worth it.
You do the same. Walk back into your mate’s arms, and never walk away again.
As Jesus said, “Go and sin no more.”
Telling the truth in love can uncover the lie of sin. Examine your own life with this in mind.
Charles R. Swindoll has devoted his life to the accurate, practical teaching and application of God’s Word. Since 1998, he has served as the senior pastor-teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, but Chuck’s listening audience extends beyond a local church body. As a leading program in Christian broadcasting since 1979, Insight for Living airs around the world. Chuck’s leadership as president and now chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary has helped prepare and equip a new generation for ministry.
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