There is a modern cultural disagreement about the idea of speaking the truth in love. On one side we have people who do not believe in truth. (Well, they will say they believe in truth, but that truth is relative. If all truth is relative, there is no truth). On the other side you have people who care about the truth, but while what they believe or say is important, how they say it is of no concern to them.
SHARE THE TRUTH IN LOVE
Scripture teaches that we need both truth and love. The apostle Paul in Ephesians 4;15 says “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ.” So to be more like Christ we need to be bold in speaking the truth, but speak it in a way that is loving.
People often swing to one extreme or the other in this area. There are people who wholeheartedly defend the truth, but they are not at all loving in how they share it. Then there are those who love people, but move away from sharing the truth because they don’t want to be seen as unloving.
WHY WE MUST SHARE THE TRUTH
Why do we need to share the truth at all? Why not just let everyone “live their own truth.” Because when it comes to many things in life the truth is black and white. God created and discerns the truth. In fact, as Jesus says, in John 14:6, “I am the truth.” So when God declares what is truth – what is right and wrong – we don’t have the right to decide for ourselves what is truth. If we do, we have made ourselves God.
We also need to share the truth because it could keep people from destroying themselves. For some reason, not sharing the truth of God has been labeled loving, and disagreeing with anyone is seen as unloving. But if God created the rules, He created truth. Anything that we do that is not in alignment with God is going to hurt or destroy us. To allow someone to live in a lie is not loving. To love someone is to share the truth with them.
WHY WE MUST SHARE THE TRUTH IN LOVE
The next question is why do we need to share the truth in love? Why not just share the truth? If we are bitter or angry, or only trying to win the argument, people won’t want to listen. Love softens a person’s heart to hearing truths, many of which are hard to hear. This is not to say we are not to be bold. It is how we speak, our tone and body language.
In fact, the apostle Paul talks about this in Romans. He says in 2:4, “God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.” When we speak the truth to people lovingly, it often is accepted better. If we only care about truth, and do not care at all about kindness, or care about the person. We miss an opportunity to share the truth.
Where is your struggle? Do you have a hard time sharing the truth, or have a difficult time sharing it in love? Who have you been keeping the truth from, because of a misbalance of only “loving” them? Who have you been sharing the truth with that needs to hear the truth in love? Do you share the truth in love?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.