Loving Their Soul

Janet Aucoin February 9, 2024

In American culture the word love can be overused, seem trite, and easily misused. Biblical love, on the other hand, is love as exemplified in the life of Christ and how he selflessly cared for the souls around Him.

In today’s episode, Janet and Jocelyn discuss how biblical love cares for the souls of others by making it easy for them to pursue righteousness.

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Episode Transcript



⁠The Gospel Primer - Milton Vincent⁠


⁠The Hesed Love of God - Joyful Journey Podcast⁠

⁠Demonstrating Hesed Love - Joyful Journey Podcast⁠


⁠Restoration Men’s Ministry


Read Through the Scripture Challenge 2024


Jocelyn: I don't just need to feel better. I need the truth. And ultimately that will make me better.

Janet: I just want to make it as totally simple as possible for ladies to see that the Bible is really applicable to their everyday life.

Jocelyn: When they understand theology, the application flows out of it quickly with joy.

Janet: It is a journey, but even the journey itself is joyful when I'm doing it, holding the hand of my savior and trusting him all along the way. This is the joyful journey podcast, a podcast to inspire and equip women to passionately pursue beautiful biblical truth on their journey as women of God. When you choose truth, you're choosing joy.

Janet: Okay, we are back today with a little bit of a different kind of episode. I'm Janet. Once again here with Jocelyn.

Jocelyn: Hey friends.

Janet: And it's kind of a primarily, what would it look like if?

Jocelyn: I think these are helpful because application is hard sometimes.

Janet: Yes, we have done two previous episodes on the Chesed love of God and just highly recommend you go and listen to those, along with this one, if you haven't. So just , very short recap of HESED. I'm going to explain what that is and then we're going to talk about what would that actually look like to Love in this way, thinking about the other person's soul.

Jocelyn: Good. I love practical application.

Janet: So to begin, let's just quickly remember what hesed is. We looked at that concept throughout scripture and especially in John 13, where we saw that Jesus loved first, most, sacrificially and to his own hurt. And Hesed is like that. Hesed is a, is actually a Hebrew word and it's first shown by God. It's him delighting to give to people who don't deserve it. or appreciate it, but he does it out of his affection for them. And as people, like us, who've received it and we're still receiving that love, we get the privilege now of extending that kind of Hesed to others around us. And that all sounds really great. What does that look like?

Jocelyn: Yeah. Philosophically, it sounds wonderful.

Janet: Doesn't it?

Jocelyn: Yeah. Perfect.

Janet: Who wouldn't want that?

Jocelyn: I definitely want other people loving me that way.

Janet: Well we talk about the love of God a lot. We talk about how we need to love each other. I am concerned that we don't think through biblically what love actually is and then our applications are all over the place. For instance, I say, I love my friend, so I get her her favorite meal. Well, that's fine as far as it goes. How about, I love my friend so when she gossips about her husband and she's really angry, I get her her favorite meal.

Jocelyn: Weird.

Janet: Yeah. Maybe not the best thing. So I found it helpful to talk about love in a way that isn't so vague. In the Hesed episodes, I mentioned that I frequently say that love provides an environment that makes it easy for the other person to do the right thing. And I believe that. Of course, love is more than that, but it's not less than that. And I find that part of love something that helps me make decisions. But it is more than that. For instance, I don't know, have I mentioned I have a new granddaughter?

Jocelyn: What? You do?

Janet: Jocelyn has seen pictures. I would show all of you if I could.

Jocelyn: Of the biggest bows in the world.

Janet: Well, I love her and I love to buy her things. And I love to hold her and I love to take care of her. And when I'm picking out an outfit, I'm not thinking, I need to do what's best for her soul. I'm thinking she's so stinking cute and she'd look adorable in this. I have a great deal of affection for her. And that is a part of love. So it would be unbelievable to try to give a full definition of love.

Jocelyn: Yes. Yes.

Janet: But, especially as my granddaughter gets older, would I buy her an outfit if she's pouting for it?

Jocelyn: No, because that would not be good for her soul.

Janet: Because I do care about her soul.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: So what I, when I'm thinking practically, I definitely want to provide an environment that makes it easy for Ari to choose righteousness. If she gets all uppity about needing all the best clothes, I don't get to give them to her anymore.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: At that point. I can't feed that.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: And that's the shorter phrase that I found helpful in describing biblical love. Loving their soul, thinking about what will help them give a good account when they face their savior. That is my privilege and it really does drive my focus.

Jocelyn: So maybe it will help if we start thinking through what this actually looks like in a couple of different relationships. So how about if I give you some scenarios and we'll talk about what that looks like.

Janet: Okay.

Jocelyn: If we're not intentional and we're not thinking the way that you just described, how do we typically view loving others in relationships?

Janet: You know, I think naturally we just want them happy with us.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So I want to make them happy. So even with my little Ari, as she gets older, if she's not happy, give her whatever will make her happy. You know, I want to be on their side. I want to agree with them unconditionally. I want to be the one that they go, Oh, she always makes me feel better. That's, I think, what comes natural.

Jocelyn: And sometimes, like, on my worst days, what comes naturally for me is I want them to be happy because I want them to like me.

Janet: Oh, absolutely.

Jocelyn: I want to do what they want because I want them to believe that I'm on their side.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: So how does God call us to interact with others?

Janet: Well, we read John 13: 34, when we taught on Chesed, and this is such a, an interesting verse. I give you a new command. Love one another. And at first it's like, that's not really a very new command, except he goes on to say, just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. Well, we don't get to define what it means to love. Jesus said, I'm to love as he did. He was compassionate. He was merciful and he rebuked and he corrected and all that he did, he did for the good of the other person's soul. He was always thinking about what was best for their soul. And I believe that's how God calls us to interact with each other. I need to be thinking, I love Jocelyn so much, what would be best for her soul right now? Maybe it's encouragement. Maybe it's support. Maybe it's a gentle reminder that the direction she's heading in that speech is not best. Whatever it is, it's because I care about your soul.

Jocelyn: Right. So let's look at some true to life scenarios so we can kind of work this out, flesh it out a little bit.

Janet: All right.

Jocelyn: So put some meat on these bones. How about a young mom with her child out in public? The kid is getting angry because she wants a toy. How does caring for her soul look in that moment?

Janet: Supernatural is what that looks like because it's so hard, right? Everything in you wants your child to not be screaming in the store.

Jocelyn: Yes, it's true.

Janet: So it's going to be tempting if she's angry, it's just very hard. I can remember when my niece, I wasn't even married yet, and I got to take care of my precious niece, who is now a grown woman with her own children, and she's a godly woman. I'll preface that in case she listens to this. She was preschool age. I was single. I kept her for the weekend. I took her to the zoo with some friends of mine. I repeatedly asked her, do you want to go see the lions? We're near them. No Aunt Janet. No Aunt Janet. Okay, we get to the front of the zoo. I wanna go see the lions. And I said, well, honey, it's too late. I will never forget. She looked at me with her little beautiful big eyes and says I might get grumpy. First of all, it was adorable. But what should I do? If I don't want her to get mad and I want her to have a great weekend with me and I want to be the favorite aunt, I'm gonna go, honey, All right, and I'm going to take her back and she'll be all happy and I'm going to call that being patient. I'll call that being loving. Or I can get angry with her and say, I told you, I can't believe you're doing that now. But what is best for her soul? Well, I can't feed attitudes that are not going to serve her well. That was actually a pretty manipulative statement. And if I let manipulation win, I've taught her to manipulate. How unkind of me. And when she stands before her savior one day, that's not going to work. But I also need to be patient and display God's character. So the bottom line was I knew immediately, and I would say this about the toy. If a child's in a store and they're angry because they want a toy. And my niece is telling me she's going to get grumpy if she doesn't get what she wants. The number one thing I know is I can't give it to her. I already know that. That's pretty obvious in my mind. I can't. I can't feed that. So we didn't go back. And I can remember telling her, I hope you make a good choice even though we're not going to be going back. And I would say in the store to say to your child that behavior-- now mommy cannot give you the toy.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: And to explain, mommy cannot give you that toy. I'd already told you no and behaving like that, now mommy cannot because I love you too much to give into that behavior.

Jocelyn: And if I do, it'll be feeding your soul to manipulate to get things that you want.

Janet: I've just taught you to do something I think is wrong.

Jocelyn: That does not honor God and you won't be able to answer well for that when you stand in front of Christ.

Janet: Yes. And how selfish of me.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: To do that.

Jocelyn: And to just get you to stop crying by giving you what you want when it's not what's good for you.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: So what if you're in the store and your child throws a temper tantrum? How embarrassing.

Janet: Oh my word. True. True. And again, tempted. Okay. How do I stop them? Everybody's staring at me going, I can't believe your kid's like that. When quite frankly, they all should be thinking, yeah, I know my kid was too, but I get how hard that is. And before I answer that, let me just share a passage of scripture that has really helped me, believe it or not, in my parenting, it's going to sound weird. But I was reading through Deuteronomy and for whatever reason I was struck by the fact that this phrase was repeated over and over, so that you may prosper. Listen to this. I'm just going to read several of the verses, Deuteronomy 4:40, so that you and your children after you may prosper and that you may live long in the land. Deuteronomy 5:33, so that you may live, prosper and have a long life in the land. 6:3, so that you may prosper and multiply greatly. 6:18, so that you may prosper. 6:24, for our prosperity always and for our preservation. 8:1, so that you may live and increase. That was in the context of God giving them a lot of commands.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But he gave them those commands and he told them how to live. Why? Because he just wanted to make sure that he could make everybody do what he wants?

Jocelyn: Because he was a tyrant and he told everyone to do? Like, no?

Janet: He said so that you may prosper. He was doing what was good for their soul, so that they would prosper. And then in Deuteronomy 8:2 and 3, listen to this. Remember that the Lord, your God, led you the entire journey these 40 years in the wilderness, so that he might humble you and test you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you by letting you go hungry. And then he gave you manna to eat, which you and your ancestors had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

Jocelyn: I love that passage.

Janet: I do too. But to think it came right after Deuteronomy 8:1 that says, so that you may live. So included in doing what was best for their soul was humbling them, and letting them go hungry. Not to harm them, not to show them who's boss, but to test them and to teach them to orient their lives around the Lord.

Jocelyn: Because what God knew they needed to know was that they could not live on bread alone, but they needed every word that came from the mouth of God. So walking and experiencing difficulty was worth it because of the value that.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Of the lesson that God had for them.

Janet: It was best for their soul.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: And I think there are parenting implications here. So again, my goal, what is best for their soul? And when I look at the Lord's example here, when my kids were little, that meant not spoiling them. That meant when my niece wanted to go back and see the lions, I could have, I had time. I could have done that. But I didn't want to spoil her. Think about it. Nobody wants spoiled food, right?

Jocelyn: That's gross.

Janet: It's gross. It's rotten. And there's a reason we call that spoiling our children. It's ruining them. I don't want that for my kids. I want what's best for their soul. So that meant I had to say no a lot. If I gave them all that they wanted. It would harm their soul. But I didn't enjoy saying no to them. I did it because it was best for them.

Jocelyn: That reminds me of the story that you told us when you guys lived in Chicago and you went on museum trips every week. And when it became the expectation, you were like, well, obviously this needs to stop because us doing this thing is ruining them.

Janet: Yes. It was when Josh said, is that all we're going to do?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And we'd had this full day and it was like, we are feeding entertainment.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: We need to change that.

Jocelyn: And privilege.

Janet: Yes. Yes. So, for the good of their soul, we needed to stop doing some of those things.

Jocelyn: You limited some of the privileges that had been given to them because that was better for them than unrestricted access to fun all day long.

Janet: Right. And not because I don't want my kids to have fun, but because I love their soul. So we had to say no. If my kid is going to go, Oh, I just want you to give me these shoes. Here's what I know. You're not getting them. Not because I don't want you to have shoes, but because I can't feed that entitlement. I had to say no. Now they're older. My kids are both adults, on their own. And honestly, as I was thinking about this, I can't remember the last time I said no to either of them. I can't. They're not perfect, but they're godly young adults. They're grateful. They're both working hard. And now I get to not only say yes a lot more, I get to initiate giving a lot more than I could. If we had given them at a younger age, the types of things that we give them now, their souls were not ready for it. So what's changed? They've matured. Their souls have matured. They can handle being given things. And it's fun. So back to the question. First I have to ensure that I'm concerned about her soul, not what everybody else thinks of me, not what people think of my parenting, not trying to control my child, not trying to make sure she doesn't throw a temper tantrum ever again. I care about her soul. If that's the case, I'm going to be thinking I can't feed attitudes and behaviors that are not consistent with God's character. So the minute she throws a temper tantrum, the one thing I know clearly, I cannot give her whatever it is she's asking for.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I can't rationalize that I'm going to have her pay for it later. I can't do anything else. I may have to leave my stuff at the store if she's causing a scene and pick her up and leave.

Jocelyn: I've had to do that a couple of times.

Janet: That's incredibly inconvenient.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: And I could be thinking, Oh my word, I was almost ready to check out. And now. Right. Her soul is more important to me.

Jocelyn: Right. That's what I was going to say. Her soul, and her learning how to function right in that atmosphere is more important than me checking out.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And getting home.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And my schedule going the way that I thought.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: So I'm deciding what to do and not to do based on what's best for someone's soul and not what's best for my convenience.

Janet: Right. So I don't yell back at her in the store, and say, there is no way now I'm getting you that. I don't do that. I don't cajole and beg. Could you just stop? You're embarrassing me. I don't say fine. I'll get you the toy, which is can I tell you, that's what I end up seeing a lot

Jocelyn: Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Janet: I get it. I get it. The temptation is huge. So I think there's a lot of things you could do that would be fine But the bottom line is it's got to be patient. It's got to be firm. It's got to be consistent with the character of God And I can't give into it because I would harm her soul. I'm teaching her that not pleasing God is appropriate. So you know, I might say to her, you need to get up, pull yourself together. We'll talk about this more later and we're going to check. And if she will not obey me, then I got to leave. And then we got to deal with that. And I have to leave all my groceries. But I promise you, if you don't do that. Not only are you not doing what's good for her soul, if that ever wins, you've just encouraged a lot more difficult times at the store. If she knows that no matter where you are, you're going to do what's best for her soul, she won't usually push it as much.

Jocelyn: And every interaction you're having is investing in someone's soul in a particular way. So do you want to invest in a negative way or invest in a positive way?

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: So, that was a parenting example. Let's talk about a different sort of parenting example that's more of a marriage example. So, you and your husband, in your marriage, and it involves the way that you are interacting with children.

Janet: Okay.

Jocelyn: So, a husband is yelling at the children when they haven't done anything wrong. So, like maybe he's watching TV and they walk in front of the TV or something and he just lays into them. How do you handle that situation, caring about what is best for everyone's soul?

Janet: Right. Because now I need to be thinking about the souls of my kids.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: And the soul of my husband.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: And I don't believe God ever puts me in a position where I can do what's honoring to God in one and the other pays for it. But we act like that.

Jocelyn: Right. It's either or.

Janet: If I'm going to love my husband, then I'm going to have to tell my kids, you know, don't ever do that around daddy again. But I don't believe I have to do that. But here's what's going to be the hardest thing I think about that scenario. I first have to get my own entitlement and self righteousness out of the way.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I cannot believe he's talking that way to the kids. I would never do that. Really? Like you have never done things like that. So first of all, I have to deal with my own heart.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: So what are some options? If I want to appease daddy, I may say, kids, let's just go in another room. Your daddy needs some alone time. What have I taught them? I've taught them that maybe they think they were doing something wrong and they weren't. Maybe the daddy's behavior is okay and that that's all right. Or I could yell at my husband, the kids did not do anything wrong, kids you are just fine. Or I could be thinking about everybody's souls and go, I hope the listeners are probably going, this is so complicated and hard.

Jocelyn: It is.

Janet: Sin is complicated.

Jocelyn: It messes everything up.

Janet: So in the moment, you may not do it all perfectly, but let my goal be, how do I love the truth, love my husband, love my children, and their soul. So, I might say, Hey kids, why don't you go play in another room for a minute? And if they're like, I didn't think we were doing anything wrong, I don't think you were either. Why don't you go in another room for a minute? And then I may walk in a private way to say to my husband, Can we talk about what just happened? Because Maybe that's not like my husband. Maybe he just got fired and he hadn't told me yet. And there's just other things. It doesn't make the behavior okay. But the need might be different than I think it is.

Jocelyn: And you don't quite know

Janet: I don't know.

Jocelyn: What is going on. Yeah.

Janet: What I know is, that wasn't honoring to Jesus. So, get the kids out, love my husband. So I don't say, you always do that. The TV is more important to you than us. What I say is, I'm concerned. that that behavior isn't consistent with the relationship with God that you have. I'm concerned. I speak the truth in love. The goal. And, and they're thinking, Janet, that is pie in the sky. No, we can do that.

Jocelyn: Oh yeah, definitely.

Janet: The goal is to put a mirror up to him so he can see his own behavior more clearly, but that I'm doing it in an atmosphere where I'm not judging him. I'm a fellow traveler. But I'm not appeasing him and going, it's okay. Daddy's like that when he gets home, he needs about an hour, everybody run away and we're not avoiding him and we're not giving in and I'm not judging him. I'm just loving his soul. Honey, I'm concerned about what I just saw.

Jocelyn: I appreciate that you just talked about speaking the truth in love and when you were talking you demonstrated speaking the truth in love to both parties because we don't lie to the kids and say,

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Oh, Oh, it's okay. Daddy had a big, hard day at work. Well, we may not know.

Janet: I don't even know.

Jocelyn: Yeah. You don't know what's going on. And you,

Janet: Daddy didn't mean it.

Jocelyn: And you do speak the truth in love to your husband and say, I am concerned about what just happened, like I don't make it nothing like, Oh, would you like me to go get you a drink? Like, I know you just had a bad day, like we don't make things up and we don't avoid saying what is true.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Because what is true is I don't think you did anything wrong, children, but I would like you to go into the other room and I am concerned about how that just went. Can we talk about it?

Janet: Now, I'm picturing maybe he's drunk and mean, and that's not the time to talk about it. But I don't. So that's a different scenario. I might, the children may say something and I would say, yeah, that doesn't honor the Lord when daddy drinks that much. We need to pray for daddy because we love daddy.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: And I have areas of my life I need to work on. So I don't pretend. Because I care about the souls of my kids, I'm not going to teach them things that are not true.

Jocelyn: And you're also not going to avoid the fact that daddy is drunk, right?

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: We're not going to lie about it.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: And we're not avoiding.

Janet: We're not appeasing and we're not arguing.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: You know, that would be the third thing that I would probably add. I don't want to avoid, I don't want to appease, but I don't want to argue. I'm going to love. And boy, that's hard. And that's going to take a lot of questioning and maybe I'm going to go in and my husband may say, I don't want to talk about it right now. You know what I'm going to probably say? Okay. Maybe we can talk about it later. For now. Can I get you a drink? Can I get you some Coke? A drink.

Jocelyn: And you're not going to never like.

Janet: We're going to deal with it.

Jocelyn: You're not going to never talk about it.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: It has to get talked about because you care about his soul.

Janet: Right. But it may not be that moment.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: And I may say that.

Jocelyn: Because that moment may not be best for a soul.

Janet: Exactly.

Jocelyn: It keeps coming back to that phrase like, I'm trying to evaluate what is actually best for that person. And me giving in. Me making them happy. Me arguing about it. None of those things are best for their soul.

Janet: So what I would love is for them to know, I see you. I see the sin. And I'm on your team and I love you and I know I'm not better than you. I just want to love you.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: That's what --now, if you don't have that foundation in your marriage, you're not going to build it in that moment. That is not the moment to try to build that. So. Then you've got a lot of pre work to do. And you may probably just need to get into some counseling because you're probably not going to be able to solve that on your own.

Jocelyn: I think that that scenario of having a husband and children involved is a good time for us to talk about picking sides, like how do we know in a situation like that whose side we should take? Because like, wait, wait a second. Were the kids just being annoying? Like should they have walked through the living room in that manner? Like, Oh wait, is it, should I be on dad's like that? My husband's side, like he had a tough day. The kids should quit being annoying. Like,

Janet: yes. Yes.

Jocelyn: So how do we, how do we know whose side to be on?

Janet: I love that because if I'm not thinking through that, that can be paralyzing. And I feel like I'm choosing the kids over dad, or I'm choosing dad over the kids. And the reality is I choose Jesus. I choose righteousness. And I believe that my kids and my husband also choosing righteousness is what's best for everybody's soul. So I don't pick sides. Because I chose Jesus. I chose the side of righteousness and that doesn't put me on opposite sides from anybody else unless they're choosing sin.

Jocelyn: I feel like when I'm in a situation where I feel like I have to choose a side, the result is that I have to placate someone.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: So, I feel caught in the middle.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Because everyone can't be happy. Someone has to be.

Janet: Then it's like, Whoa, whoa, whoa. When was the goal make them happy?

Jocelyn: Right. Someone has to be the loser in this situation. And if I go into a situation like that, reminding myself, wait a second, I'm not on daddy's team and I'm not on the kid's team. I am on team righteousness.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: I'm on Jesus's side. Then I can go in way more objectively and be a real helper instead of assuming that I know what's going on or just keeping everybody happy because I don't wanna have a war tonight. I just wanted to have supper in peace.

Janet: And then there's no conflict of interest.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: I talked with someone recently that I was helping in a certain area, and she was like, I didn't know if I could talk to you about this because an area that I'm struggling with involves someone else I know. And I said,

Jocelyn: like, you would get caught in the middle.

Janet: Yes. And it was like, she said, I didn't wanna put you in that position, but she wanted help. And I said, well, here's the thing. My goal is not to make that other relationship be together or be apart. I want you to honor the Lord, and I want this other person to honor the Lord. So there is zero conflict of interest for me.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: Because I don't have an outcome I'm trying to get other than I would like everybody to please Jesus.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: And because that's my goal, there is no conflict of interest. it went really well. But I think otherwise it would be, but this is someone I'm close to, and if you're having an issue with them, then... no. Then I want you to honor the Lord and how you handle it. I want them to honor the Lord and how they handle it. And if everybody honors the Lord, we're all going to be closer than we've ever been.

Jocelyn: We're all on the same team.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: So that's excellent question.

Jocelyn: So there's several other scenarios and they're going to be very similar to the ones that we've just said, but I just want to just bring them up because we can tease some of the nuances out of them. So another scenario might be a grandma who's interacting with an adult grandchild who is living an unbiblical lifestyle as a grownup on their own. But you love your grandchild's soul. How do you handle that situation?

Janet: So there's several other scenarios and they're going to be very similar to the ones that we've just said, but I just want to just bring them up because we can tease some of the nuances out of them. So another scenario might be a grandma who's interacting with an adult grandchild who is living an unbiblical lifestyle as a grownup on their own. But you love your grandchild's soul. How do you handle that situation?

Jocelyn: That's what I was gonna say. Let's go with that scenerio.

Janet: Yeah, there'd be two.

Jocelyn: We're assuming that they're not a follower of Christ.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And what we know what's good for their soul is to love Christ and his righteousness,

Janet: That's right. Which I believe is way more important than their lifestyle.

Jocelyn: Oh yes, definitely.

Janet: So their lifestyle right now is a lifestyle that's not consistent with God's values, but they don't even

Jocelyn: care about, yeah.

Janet: seek God's values. So, you know, in my interactions with my grandchild, It's not going to be the priority of talking about how they should change their lifestyle. It will be, how can I show them that God's ways are beautiful? But I'm also not going to act like their lifestyle is consistent with God's values.

Jocelyn: Or it doesn't matter, or it has no consequences.

Janet: Yeah, but I'm not going to go out of my way to bring it up.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: So if they're bringing up a lifestyle that doesn't honor the Lord, and there's a way for me to have an impact, I'm going to speak the truth, but I would be asking permission because they're adults and I love them. I'm not their authority. I would say to them, you know, I love you. Would you like to hear God's beautiful view on some of these things? No? Okay. If you ever want to. So what have I done? I've let them know that my view is different. But that I think it's a beautiful view and I think it has a lot of hope and if they ever want to know about it, I'm happy to share it. I don't believe I have an obligation to shove it down their throat.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: But I'm not afraid of it. I'm not going to pretend like I agree with them to make them happy with me.

Jocelyn: Right. That was one thing that I was thinking is it comes back to the same three A's. Like, I believe God is right.

Janet: Yes. And it's best

Jocelyn: His righteousness is best. And I love them. I literally love them.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And I want to love their soul. So that means in that situation where I'm sure it's going to be very uncomfortable at times, Grandma is not going to avoid

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: The situation, or the person. She's not going to appease

Janet: and act like it's okay

Jocelyn: the person, and act like it's all good. And I want to be on your team. And she's also not going to argue about it.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: She's not going to appease, avoid or argue. She's going to love and her motivation is going to be how can I love this person's soul?

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: How can I love them toward righteousness in a way that is helpful.

Janet: Yep. And if it involves unbiblical relationships, she's got hard questions to answer. But I would think that if I had a way to build a relationship with both of those people, I would.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I would. I would not say you can't bring them around me.

Jocelyn: Because Christ's way is better. And how

Janet: I want to show that.

Jocelyn: How will they know that if they never see that?

Janet: Right. I want to love their soul. I'm not trying to have a rule, when you're at my house, we're just not going to..., because at my house, we.... I just want to love their soul, so I'm not going to avoid, appease, or argue. And that's going to be hard, but I would want my grandchild to know, my grandma loves the fire out of me. She doesn't think the way I'm living is the best way to live before God.

Jocelyn: And she doesn't butter me up and, yeah.

Janet: But she would die for me if it would help my soul. I would want them to know that.

Jocelyn: So here's another scenario. So you have a coworker. So you're equals, you're peers.

Janet: Okay.

Jocelyn: You're not their authority. And that coworker is doing something they shouldn't be doing or they're not doing something they should be. How do you handle that situation where you say, my literal only goal is to love their soul, to invest in their prospering.

Janet: Yeah. And assuming again, my coworker's not claiming to be a follower of Christ. Because that'd be different.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: So my unbelieving coworker, I'll just say it this way, is acting like it, an unbelieving coworker with either, you know, shortcuts to a work ethic or whatever that is,

Jocelyn: Not following policies or whatever.

Janet: Or saying they're coming in at a certain time and I know they're not, whatever. I do think that those are complicated if they're just a coworker and some of it is going to depend, I believe, on my level of relationship. Because again, I'm not going to avoid it. So my coworker comes to me and says, isn't that funny? Like I said, I'm working 40 hours and I'm only working 30 and nobody even cares I'm getting paid for it.

Jocelyn: Totally padded my time sheets.

Janet: Ha ha. I'm going to say, I don't believe that that's really the best way to live. Would you like me to share with you how I look at those things? Now I don't know that I have a responsibility to go and tell everyone. I don't think that I need to run to the boss.

Jocelyn: Like, loving their soul is not tattling on them.

Janet: Exactly.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Now, legal things, that's different.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: I'm not gonna.

Jocelyn: Mandatory.

Janet: Yeah. I'm not gonna

Jocelyn: mandatory legal stuff. Yeah.

Janet: Do illegal stuff or cover illegal things. But I don't know that it's my, if I know that they're.

Jocelyn: Your job is not to be the office dork.

Janet: But I'm not gonna appease it.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And smile and go, good for you. And just think, I won't do that. I would say, well, I think there's actually a better way that I think is actually more satisfying because here's what I'm thinking. I want to show the beauty of God's ways. I'm also not going, well, I would never do that because I'm a Christian. And I don't behave that way because I'm a Christian. What have I told them? I'm better than you. God's about a bunch of rules and you're a loser. This is an unbeliever acting like one. What do I want to show them? That there's a better way. There's a more beautiful way. So I might say, you know what? I know it may feel like you're getting away with something, but I've actually found it to be a lot more fulfilling if I do things in a way that honors the Lord.

Jocelyn: And what I'm thinking in the back of my mind is they're acting the way that they are because they're deceived

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And they're doubting something about God. It's a temporal thing, like it's only going to last until the end of their live years. And then they're going to face the God that created them. And if you care about their soul, that matters. That impacts the way you interact with them.

Janet: So I want to show them the beauty of God's way, which means they may make fun of me. Oh yeah, you just think, and I would say, I know I kind of really do think that.

Jocelyn: And if your goal is not to just appease them, then their words will not have as much weight as they otherwise might.

Janet: Right. And it doesn't feel good. But I'm thinking, at whatever point the world drops out for you, I want you to know you can call me. I want you to know that I know a better way, that I'm not sitting in judgment of you, that I don't think I'm better than you, but that I know something that you don't know. I have news. The gospel's news. It's not that I'm better. I know news.

Jocelyn: That you don't know.

Janet: That would help you.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: So that's what I'm thinking. I'm not going to avoid the situation or appease it or argue. I want to show that God's way is better. So I might say, well, you know that that's not how I would want to live because God showed me a better way that's actually far more fulfilling.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Could I share that with you? And they'd go, Oh, you're just being ridiculous. Ha ha ha. That's okay. But I've been able to share that with them. And then the next day I'm going to go out of my way to love them so they know I'm not mad at them.

Jocelyn: And there's just, you know, so many other scenarios we could talk about.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: We could talk about college students who are peers.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Who one of them is not handling their studying the way that they should or

Janet: they want you to cheat for them.

Jocelyn: Or they want to have all your notes or whatever. Like there's marriage implications. There's inside of the church family implications. There's so many scenarios where this is lived out, but I think the ones we've talked about hit a bunch of different angles. And the point of them all is that the way we're interacting with people is because we value their soul and we want

Janet: more than their friendship.

Jocelyn: more than, more than anything. And we want to invest in what will actually prosper them and what will actually prosper them is knowing God, and living according to his righteousness. And so we're avoiding, we're avoiding avoiding, avoiding avoiding situations. We're avoiding appeasing and we're avoiding arguing.

Janet: So we're loving to our own hurt because it's a lot easier when your coworker gossips to just smile.

Jocelyn: Yes. Or to cover.

Janet: So, I'm going to love to my own hurt.

Jocelyn: Yeah. So, what do we need to be thinking about when we're prepping to have a heart interaction like this? Okay, something just happened in front of us, and I'm, if I love them, I'm going to have to say something.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: What can you be thinking about in times like that?

Janet: I think it's incredibly important to remember-- it's one thing I love about the Gospel Primer is that all of the little daily devotional things in there are so good, but the one exposed by the cross that says The cross screams that I'm so wicked that God himself had to die for me. If I'm remembering how wicked I am, I will be more humble when I approach somebody else. The only thing different about me and that person, especially if they're an unbeliever, is God in his grace opened my eyes to understand good news. And because he did that, and I accepted that good news, I now have the help and the hope of the spirit of God inside me. It's not me.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: Anything in me that's growing to be like Jesus is because I have the help of the Spirit. So when I remember what the cross screams about who I am, then I get to look at this other person and know I want them to know what I know, but I'm not any better than them.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Another question is how do you handle the fallout of a well planned interaction going badly? Like, and by badly, I mean like you believed that it was best and most loving to intervene and to say something. And you did what you believed honored God. You cared for their soul. You didn't avoid, you didn't appease, and you didn't argue. And it just went south.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: How do you handle that?

Janet: Yeah. Well, Judas betrayed Christ after three years of Christ loving him perfectly

Jocelyn: Interacting perfectly.

Janet: Every time, which I will not. So I would say a couple of things. One is humility. If I truly am suffering unrighteously, so did my savior. And this is my moment to respond in love just like he did to that. But because I'm not Jesus, I think there's a lot of wisdom in having someone that I can talk through the scenario with who might help me to be able to see, you know, Janet, maybe that sounded a little arrogant. Maybe that's not how you meant it, but I can see why, you know, I said this,

Jocelyn: That's a great point.

Janet: And then they said that, and then you're like, I just had a precious friend contact me very recently, and say, I communicated something more publicly, here's my reasoning, but, I need someone who will actually tell me, what do you think of that? And I appreciated that, and we talked about it, and I said, I understand your heart. Probably wouldn't have said it that way. And here's... and she's like that's really helpful. So even when my intent is not that, was I clumsy? And was there a bit of

Jocelyn: Was it presumptuous?

Janet: An entitled motive underneath and I didn't even see it? So examine my own heart and at whatever point I can have a clear conscience, then I get to love the unlovely. And then I would go out of my way to love whoever that is in a way they want to be loved. Don't be stalky. Like if you've just talked and they've said, get out of my face, then get out of their face. But you might send a letter in a few weeks to say, just want you to know, I've been praying for you about this. Thank you. Whatever. I might look for a way that is not in their face if they've asked me not to.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But that continues to love them.

Jocelyn: So what are some practical ways you could have strength and courage when those kinds of troubling interactions are repeated?

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And they are repeatedly difficult. How can you handle that?

Janet: Yeah. I would say read First Peter. That's How our Savior loved us. What does it profit you if when you sin you're treated badly? But if when you do good, you're treated badly this finds favor with God Why? Because that's exactly what Jesus did. This is your moment. So I think having people who will remind you of truth and pray with you, not the friends who will say, I can't believe they treated you that way.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: That's not fair. That's not right. Even though that's all true. Maybe. But people who will hold you up to continue to love like Jesus, knowing it was first Peter two that said his unjust stripes are what healed me. So, right now, I get to live out the gospel.

Jocelyn: That kind of love.

Janet: Yes. And it's supernatural.

Jocelyn: And you mentioned it previously, like sometimes you need to get other people involved, biblical friends

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Or even your pastor. There are times when you do need

Janet: I need help

Jocelyn: Other people to speak into the situation.

Janet: Yes

Jocelyn: How do I know what is good for someone's soul? Like I can see someone responding to this episode and saying, you know, I don't know. I'm not God. How can I know what is good for people's soul? Isn't it presumptuous to say, I'm gonna love your soul as if I know what your soul needs?

Janet: Oh, you know what? That's an excellent question because it certainly can be. If I am going beyond what the scriptures say then absolutely. For instance, if I am assuming your motives in any way, well because I know why you said that, I'm not going to do this, I'm going to do that because I know that what you were thinking was this.

Jocelyn: What you really were... yes.

Janet: I don't know that.

Jocelyn: It's helpful to be reminded that we cannot assume anyone's motives.

Janet: We're so tempted.

Jocelyn: We can ask them what they did or why they did it, but they may not even have a good handle on their motives.

Janet: And what we know is a track record. So if the last 12 times you said it to me, it was manipulative., When you say it to me a 13th time, I'm going to Very possibly, assume it's manipulative again. So here's what I need to remember. Number one, I don't know that, but I do know that that track record exists. Let's imagine that I know that factually. Then, based on that track record, I would have to say, I don't know if it is this time, but it might be, and I'm not going to give in to it. But I have to be careful that I'm not saying I know what you mean.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I don't but I do know a track record and because I'm not God I can only look at the outside track record. I can't look at the heart. So I have to look at behavior and track record and not make assumptions of motives and intents. And that's where it's helpful to talk to other people You know where I might be saying I know what you meant by that. I know, maybe I don't, but I do know that the last 12 times that's what you meant. And so I can say to you, because it was that way the last 12 times, it's difficult for me to hear this one any different. I can be honest. But I don't know. So I look at behavior. So if my husband's yelling at my kids, I don't know the motive behind it, but that is wrong.

Jocelyn: But you can see, you can observe the action.

Janet: That it is wrong. So I express concern. And if I find out that the motive behind it, that might help me. But the bottom line is I'm dealing with the behaviors that I see, not the motives that I assume.

Jocelyn: Yes. So Janet, what is good for your soul? What is good for the soul of the people around us? How do we know what's good for your soul? Yeah.

Janet: What is good for my soul is to agree with God that righteousness and justice and loving others to my own hurt is the way to live. I know that's good for my soul because I was told that the perfect person that lived what was best for their soul was Christ, and that's how he lived. He lived in a way that was loving and compassionate and righteous and truthful and faithful. And if that's what I'm encouraging in my own heart and in the lives of those around me, I know I'm doing what's good for their soul.

Jocelyn: And we can know it's righteous because we can read it in the scripture.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: We know what God says is righteousness. Psalm 89:14 says righteousness and justice are the foundation of God's throne. Loving kindness and faithfulness walk before him as attendants. So loving kindness and faithfulness are Speaking into how God decided what is right.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And we use the scripture to know the definitions from God of righteousness.

Janet: Amen.

Jocelyn: We can say, we know what's best for their soul is righteousness. And we know what is righteousness by referring to God's word.

Janet: Excellent.

Jocelyn: As we're helping people to live out God's word, we can know that that's good for your soul.

Janet: Ah, that's beautiful. Thank you for this conversation. This has been encouraging to me and hopefully for the others that are listening.

To keep from missing any future episodes, please sign up for our newsletter on our webpage joyfuljourneypod.com. From there you can also subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Google, or Spotify. You can also visit us on our Facebook page or Instagram at Joyful Journey Podcast. If you have questions or comments for us, you can email us at joyfuljourneyquestions@outlook.com. Joyful Journey Podcast is a ministry of Faith Bible Seminary. All proceeds go to offset costs of this podcast and toward scholarships for women to receive their MABC through Faith Bible Seminary.

Host Janet and her husband, Brent, also speak at a variety of conferences as a way to raise money for the seminary. If you want to look at what they offer or book them for a conference, go to their website.

Janet Aucoin


Janet is the Director of Women's Ministry at Faith Church (Lafayette, IN); Host of the Joyful Journey Podcast (helping women learn that when you choose truth you choose joy); ACBC certified; teacher in Faith Community Institute; Coordinator of FBS seminary wives fellowship, retreat and conference speaker; B.S. Human Resources, University of South Florida.