Don't Be Too Careful
That's right. We mean to say exactly that. There are many times when we need to use less care! Admiral Halsey expressed this idea when he said, "Grasp a thistle boldly and its spines crumble."
If you touch a thistle timidly, it will prick you sharply. If you grasp it firmly, its spines will crumble in your hand. This same thing can be demonstrated with the modern electric fence. If you see one in operation and touch your fingers to it, the shock will, seem sharp-and you will quickly withdraw your hand. But, if you will boldly grasp the wire, it will not harm you (if you are standing on dry soil) and the shock will seem small.
So it is with many spiritual matters. We are too timid with them and they become vicious and hurtful. By our failure to take hold of many spiritual matters with confidence and courage, we may contribute to the downfall of many people who may misunderstand or who may be misled. False concepts of the scripture cannot be treated with compromise, and false teachers must be exposed.
In a memorandum to his officers' Admiral Nelson wrote: "No Captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy." Perhaps many weak-hearted Christians may get a lesson from this too. The idea is, "Carry the fight to the enemy." In other words, "take the offensive." Wherever Satan has a stronghold, there God's servants must be and there they must carry the fight. To surrender is to admit lack of faith, and to fail to enter the battle for truth and right is to demonstrate lack of courage.
In Daniel, chapter 3, we read where the three faithful Hebrews were confronted with an angry King, who was about to kill them unless they would submit to his will, which submission would have been a violation to God's commandments. The King offered them one more chance! What would you have done? The three Hebrews said, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer you in this matter." Then, without compromise or tact, they informed him that they would obey God rather than the King. Their final victory was so great that even the King was convinced of their righteousness.
Some Christians today seem to take an attitude that would forbid them to antagonize or offend people, even if it meant compromise. Some seem to take the chance of losing their own soul and the soul of a sinner, rather than risk an argument or a disagreement with him.
This little article is not to suggest that we speak harshly, or that we criticize sharply. All bitterness and hate, all spite and strife must be put away if we would help those in error. On the other hand, we must learn that we can strive without manifesting strife; we can disagree without being disagreeable; we can contend without being contentious. Let us learn to speak truth kindly but without compromise. Let us not be confused-it is not necessary to compromise in order to be gentle, kind and considerate. Let us also recognize that we, by being too careful, may become an enemy of Christ.
When false teachers invade the church, long consultations should be unnecessary. Prompt and decisive teaching should "stop the mouths of the gainsayers." When sinful lives contaminate the body of Christ, scriptural teaching and, finally, authorized discipline, must be used for the sake of the body, and for the salvation of the sinful soul.
Truth Magazine I:11, pp. 21, 24