“There is a snake in your tent man.” That seemed to be my response all day long. Student after student. Controlling girlfriends. Behind in school. Caught again in the web. Another binge weekend. 5 hours of gaming…per day. Snakes.
Imagine we were out camping in the mountains. About dusk, I glance over just in time to see a large rattlesnake slither into your tent. “Hey man, a snake just crawled in your tent.” If you are a normal guy you would think I was just kidding. “No man, I’m serious.” Suppose you didn't believe me, got up and started walking toward the tent? My intensity would ramp up, "There is a snake in the tent!" I would be willing to speak sternly, even harshly. If necessary, I would wrestle you to the ground before you crawled into that tent. Why? ...
To love is to warn.
Part of our role as leaders is to warn of impending danger. What if I chose to say nothing about the snake? What if I were fearful you would be somehow offended? Who am I to tell you what to do? If I chose to stay silent, how would you feel about me after the snake’s venom hit your blood stream? Betrayed…at best.
Jesus said some really hard things. Why? Because warning is an essential part of loving.
Read these few verses out loud. Listen to the warnings.
“Afterward Jesus found him (man who had been healed) in the temple and said to him, ‘Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you." (John 5:14).
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36).
“… for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." (John 8:24). [my italics added]. Try reading them again.
Jesus loved so much He got in guys faces. May I be courageous enough to deal with my own snakes and loving enough to risk warning the men around me.
The video below is some straight talk from Mark Valentine:
Fighting with you for men’s souls,
Hank is on staff with Cru in Knoxville, Tennessee and was the speaker at Upstate Cru's 2014 Fall Getaway.
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