Question:

In your opinion what is the best way to tell someone that they are wrong but loved. Like if someone is a homosexual, how can you tell them that their actions are wrong in a loving way? It seems like you need to strike a delicate balance there.


Answer:

"But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will" (II Timothy 2:23-26).

Much depends on why a person is involved in sin. Is it through ignorance or is the person being willfully rebellious? Has he never thought about the moral rightness of his actions before or is he so full of pride that he assumes everything he does must be right? A person's apparent motivations will make a difference in your approach and that means you need to sit down and listen to the person first. "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (James 1:19).

The focus must always be on getting a person to heaven. It isn't about proving I'm right and your wrong; it is about converting a person to the truth. "And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh" (Jude 22-23).

While we strive to find the best way to answer a person, no answer at all is the worse possible response. Too many people are afraid to say anything at all, but that leaves the other person in their sins. Thus, I do the best I can, knowing that I won't always be perfect, but that God can make use of even my imperfections. You also must realize that even the perfect answer won't always be appreciated. After telling the Pharisees that their traditions had led them to acting against God, Jesus continued, "When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, "Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." Then His disciples came and said to Him, "Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?"" (Matthew 15:10-12). The Pharisees weren't interested in the truth, so when truth was pointed out to them, it naturally drove them away.

There are always going to be people who prefer their sins over truth. You can tell someone involved in homosexuality that it isn't right and that it isn't good for them, and they may just turn against you and call you the worse of names simply because you are not supporting them in their sins. That doesn't mean you did something wrong. It means the person doesn't want to know the truth. In such cases I shrug my shoulders and hope that someone else may get through to them at a later point.

Thank you for this. I agree with almost all of this. I will continue to try to help him and not shrug my shoulders and leave because I believe that this is what God wants me to do. But thank you very much for this response. A way some people I know like to sum up similar things to what you said is, "You can say the right thing, in the wrong way, at the wrong time."