Speaking the Truth in Love

HOW we say something can be as important as WHAT we say. It is not enough that what we say is true. We can say it in a way that is brash or in a way that is kind. Sharing the truth in love does not mean that we share the truth because we love, but that we share truth in the way that love shares truth. Love always hopes. When we share what is true we are not rattling off the negative facts like a pessimist. We share the truth with hope.

When we speak of a problem it is not the end of the world (or the nation), it is an opportunity for a solution. Before you call me an optimist, neither optimism nor pessimism is Christian. To hope is Christian. Without biblical hope, all we are left with is the world’s philosophies of optimism or pessimism based on our personal preference. Truth carries a substance that is otherworldly. It is the reality of heaven infused in our very words. It is the power to release hope where there was fear. It is the power to give life where there was death. It is the power to give freedom where there was bondage.

Love does not dishonor others. Just because something is true does not mean we can speak it in a manner that brings dishonor. Love always protects. It does not just protect family and friends, but the stranger we have never met that we are talking about on social media. It does not just protect the one whose name we know, but the whole group we may be discussing. It protects celebrities and governing leaders too. I Corinthians 13 is not only how we are to treat those in our inner circle it is how we conduct ourselves in the way of love. A mature believer is one who speaks truth in love (Eph 4). Love is the way truth is shared not merely the reason truth is communicated.

Love is not easily angered nor easily offended. It speaks in such a way as to set people free, not to keep them bound by their wayward ways. It does not point fingers, it shields the one under attack. Not because the one has merited the love, but because Jesus did the same while we were yet sinners. “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Truth is not communicated in offense. Offense is communicated, and the truth becomes secondary.

Politics is not an excuse for negativity, dishonor, anger, offense, or ridicule. While truth can be partisan, love is not. This means that we still have the responsibility to communicate truth in love no matter what the position of the other may be. They are not idiots. They are not imbeciles. It is possible “they” are the ones who see something we need to see. It is possible “they” have never seen what we see and therefore cannot know what we know and think like we think. Most likely “they” are not doing anything to us on purpose. It is important not to assign motives to people. It only serves to maintain the culture of “us” versus “them” when we do that.

Governing how we communicate truth will require that we slow down and listen to ourselves and how we may sound to others. It also necessitates that we listen to how others hear what we are saying. I have found that communicating my ideas to people who do not believe them help me to learn how I sound to them. It matters. If I fail to understand how I sound to others, I cannot do better at letting truth be heard in a way that honors the one listening.

To be continued . . .

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The Relationship of Truth and Love

truth-in-loveTruth and love have a symbiotic relationship. You cannot have one without the other less we confuse truth with facts. You can have true facts without love – in the church this looks like religion. Truth is a Person. Jesus lived is a fact of history. Jesus lives is a truth of eternity. His life is the great message of love. Jesus is the expression to the world that God is love. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, Jesus . . .

Truth, by its very nature, is exclusive of all that is false. Jesus being the way, the truth, and the life, means that all other like claims are false. Jesus doesn’t give life, He is life. He gives Himself. Jesus doesn’t show us the way, He is the way. Jesus is not just a truth teller, He is Truth. Jesus excludes that which is not Jesus from being the truth. Buddha, Vishnu, Mohammed, Zeus, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster are all excluded.

Love, by its very nature, is inclusive – For God so loved the world.  . .  Continue reading “The Relationship of Truth and Love”

Where is your hope?

235065a3c5a39e64e7fb49673014c0ffThere is hope for America no matter who is elected come November 8. The White House may be the seat of political power, but it is not the seat of the Lord’s power. The seat of the Lord’s power is in our churches. The power to transform our nation is the same power that birthed our nation. It’s the same power that fueled The Reformation 499 years ago.

Initially there was no American government to give freedom to America. The people learned to govern themselves in freedom from the Bible. It was from that place of freedom that our Founders wrote a Constitution to protect this nation from abuses of such freedom. Continue reading “Where is your hope?”

Rekindling Hope in a Dark World

light-of-the-worldThe Western world has run amok, but I am not going to react to it. We have all heard of the violent acts in Florida, Dallas, France, Baton Rouge, Germany, and now Florida again.

The best thing I can do in response is to stay the course that God has called me to travel. I will continue teaching people to honor those in authority and to respect all people regardless of race, class, gender, or religion. I will not become reactive, distracted, or intolerable in response to current events.

Before the families have been notified, social media surges with political opinions and demands. We can denounce such violence all we want, but it will not stop it.

Frankly, I am more concerned with the responses and lives of Christians in this nation than I am the damage wrought by terrorism. Continue reading “Rekindling Hope in a Dark World”

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