Speak the Truth in Love

speaking-truth-in-loveWhile our shame and insecurity make it hard to hear a reproof, it makes it just as hard to deliver one. Many Christians, rather than speak the truth about issues the Bible clearly addresses, fearing the discomfort of offending anyone, prefer to be non-confrontational and often elevate it to a near virtue. That wasn’t the example Jesus set. We are to speak the truth in love, sacrificing neither, but notice Jesus’ description of His own mission:

Matthew 10:34-38 (NIV)

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

Jesus’ reference that he came to bring a sword is not saying that he came to bring violence; rather, he came to speak the truth – to confront where it was needed; and clearly spoken words can sometimes cut just as deeply as any sword. We must not be afraid to speak the truth when it is needed or to embrace the truth when those close to us may not. Jesus did not say he desired to divide; it’s just that the sword of truth may well do so.

Far too many Christians have wrongly believed that it is unChristian to offend others, and consequently a love of the truth has too frequently been sacrificed to a fear of hurting someone’s feelings. According to the Bible, both delivering and accepting reproof are virtues, and we would do well to practice both. If we remain silent, how will people come to know the truth? We need to be people of confidence and fearless love for God, people and truth. If the Bible speaks about an issue, so should we – with the same loving and eternal clarity the Bible uses.
(Taken from article in The Founders Bible by David Barton and Brad Cummings)