I’ve been reflecting on my article on Favre and pragmatism lately. Since I’m super practical, I wonder how much I’ve incorporated this philosophy into my ministry and life. There have been occasions where I’ve wanted to tell someone ___________, but I’ve often been hindered by the “What good will it do” thought. Now I’m not saying there’s wisdom in considering possible responses, or in considering the motivation behind telling someone something hard. More often than not my motivation is not based out of love and truth but anger. So then I need to shut up.
But I wonder if the “what good will it do” philosophy should always reign supreme. And is it really the right way to think in regards to relationships within the body of Christ. The OT prophets probably felt like saying this to God on a number of occasions. But at Ezekiel’s call in chapter 2-almost as in anticipation of this “what good will it do question,”-he says that whether they listen or fail to listen, “they will know that a prophet has been among them.”
Ezekiel probably wanted to say throughout his ministry, “What good is this doing?” But at the very beginning God clearly explained the answer to this fair question. The good was that folks knew God cared about His people through the presence of His prophets, regardless of whether or not they turned and trusted in Him.
Sometimes the “good it will do” in lovingly and graciously delivering a hard message, is to make people aware that God does care about them and their situation. Now they may not like the message, like you, or like Jesus. Nevertheless, God’s people are always to speak truth in love to those in His church, not being hindered by the philosophy of “what good will it do?”