Sometimes we don't care about the right things at the right time.
That inappropriately-dressed teen drawing attention to her body may need the loving attention of a genuine mentor more than she needs admonition from a modesty sheriff. The culture is shouting the lie to her that her power is found in her sexuality, and the attention her body garners lends strong support to that lie. Until she treasures Christ enough to have the deception of that message as exposed as her skin, meeting that lie with citations of condemnation will only leave her feeling more powerless than ever. And when we're left feeling powerless, we run headlong toward that which gives us power. Even if it's just an illusion.
That woman in our church caught in an affair may need the loving understanding of a safe friend more than a lecture on purity. She knows she's doing wrong. That's not the point. The point is that she, for whatever reason, has imbibed the lie that the intimacy she is experiencing in an illicit relationship is more satisfying than the intimacy that comes with a vibrant relationship with Christ. Meeting that lie with harsh judgment will only leave her feeling more lonely than ever. And when we're left feeling lonely, we gravitate toward that which gives us intimacy. Even if it's just an illusion.
That heartbroken friend struggling with God's sovereignty after losing his son to cancer may need the warmth of a compassionate heart more than cold instruction in sound doctrine. He desperately wants to believe, but his deep hurt has left him gasping for air in a sea of unbelief. He knows the Truth. That's not the point. The point is that the Enemy loves firing canons of false accusation, and his deep pain has left him vulnerable. Meeting that firing of accusation with cold instruction will only leave him feeling more desperate than ever for the warmth of love. When we're in pain and shivering in the cold, we question if God's sovereign ways are as good as our heart has been taught to believe.
Modesty, purity, and sound doctrine. Right things to care deeply about. At the right time.