Following God is a difficult thing.
And in today’s scriptures we see how the difficulties of life play out.
Daniel interprets King Nebuchadnezzar’s second dream. What he saw terrified him, because sharing it might put his life in jeopardy! He had bad news. Not only did he see a great tree, allegedly representing the king, but he saw that tree being cut down. He delivers news that potentially may lose him his job, or worse yet, his head. Nevertheless, he moves forward with truth, declaring that self-glorification is not the goal, but God’s message of truth – even if it is a prediction of affliction and call for restoration.
The letter of 1 John continues his central theme of love. “And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.” Those who obey see that God abides in them. He helps the people discern between a spirit of error and a spirit of truth. “Every Spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.”
Time and again in scripture, God delivers difficult news. Witnessing to that which is right or true inevitably means that lines are being drawn. If there is a “truth” then there is a “non-truth.” It doesn’t mean the world is black and white, but it certainly means there are sheep and goats.
What I learn from Daniel is that sometimes we are entrusted with harsh or difficult news. We are compelled to break the news as well. This could be breaking it to ourselves – confronting selfish or destructive behaviors. It could be calling others to accountability.
In all of this, we are told to do this in love. John is very clear. Even in breaking bad news, or calling someone’s hand, we are to do it in love. So is the challenge with Christian accountability.
I have to be honest – the more I walk down this path, the more I realize what a challenge the Christian life is. Anyone who thinks this is easy is out of their mind.