The leader of a Christian ministry recently said his goal is to be “confessionally rigorous and relationally generous.” The more I thought about it, the more I loved it. So I’ve decided to unashamedly steal it and make that my own personal goal.
Isn’t that what Jesus was like while he lived on this earth? He was immovable in regards to truth and hated sin with a passion. He boldly proclaimed those who ignore the hungry/thirsty will be thrown into eternal fire, he overthrew the moneylenders’ tables in the temple, and fearlessly called the Pharisees hypocrites and liars. Yet Jesus was infinitely compassionate and open with all people. He pursued the tax collectors and prostitutes, he spoke with Nicodemus, a Pharisee, showing no disdain for his association with such a group. Jesus was even “relationally generous” to those tortuously killing Him on a cross: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
Really the goal, in other words, is to be like Jesus. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph. 5:1-2). And amazingly, that’s also God’s goal for us. He’s been faithfully working on it from the beginning through Christ and His Spirit: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God…” (2 Cor. 5:17).