10/30/10 Jose, about 40
As Jesus used the law to show a rich young man his sin and need for salvation, he "looked at him and loved him" (Mark 10:21). Jesus was about to show this proud young man how far he was from God, but he did it with love. Only in the Spirit can we find the right balance of "speaking the truth in love" (Eph. 4:15) Without the Spirit, we will be tossed back and forth by every wind of teaching, (Eph. 4:14) sometimes speaking truth without love, and sometimes trying to speak lovingly without truth. As I spoke with Jose, who was out for a bike ride at the park today, I found that my limited Spanish put me in danger of being misunderstood and not being able to find that delicate balance of love and truth, of either sounding condemning and judgmental like a Pharisee or treating God's law and justice in a trite and flippant manner that fails to communicate God's authority and power. Since I felt in danger of being severely misunderstood, I switched over to testimony mode, telling how I personally have broken God's law and deserve the punishment of hell, but that Jesus had died in my place on the cross but rose from the dead to conquer death. I do this so as not to be misunderstood, or sometimes when I am running short on time and feeling the need to summarize the gospel. Jose protested when I told him this saying "But you are such a good person!" Though it may not have as much of a personal impact as the 'good person test", it still helps to bring home the point that "no one is good, but God alone" (Mark 10:18), and showing our need for Jesus.