The Confrontation and Consolation of the Gospel

I tend to be a people-pleaser. Yes, I know that it is a curse, and I struggle. This struggle is especially acute when counseling folks. I so want to make them feel better, and say something that will encourage them. Mainly, I want them to know that I am on their side so that they will like me. However, it struck me today that when I preach or counsel, I will either reinforce the default self-righteousness that resides in every human heart, or I will lead them toward repentance (for self-righteousness) and faith (in the imputed righteousness of Jesus). The point is not whether someone likes me or not, but whether they are encountering, embracing and living in light of the truth of the gospel. There are times to comfort, and there are times to confront. Thankfully, the gospel does both… and at the same time! May I remember that the next time my own heart needs the confrontation (I am more sinful than I can admit or understand) and consolation (I am more forgiven, loved and accepted than I could ever dare to dream) of the gospel.