“[Love] does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;”
1 Corinthians 13:6
Our culture has convinced itself that love and truth are at odds with each other. Many believe that loving someone means never telling them anything that will convict them, correct them, or make them feel uncomfortable. This attitude is nothing new. The great apostle Paul strove mightily with the believers in Galatia who were straying from the Gospel. Apparently their straying from the truth brought with it a general antagonism toward truth tellers. Feeling this, Paul wrote to them, “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16). For Paul, the truth was absolutely paramount. While under house arrest in Rome, he wrote that there were others in the city who had grown bold in their Gospel witness. Some were doing so out of love and sincerity while others were preaching out of envy and contention. Apparently some were preaching the Gospel in order to gain popularity and influence. Paul responded, “that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice” (Philippians 1:18). The motive of the truth-teller is not what really matters; it is our response to God’s truth that saves and sets us free. The reluctant prophet Jonah is an object lesson. Jonah had no love for the people he was sent to, but he did have the truth. Because he preached the truth, the people repented and were spared (Jonah 3:10). Let’s do better than Jonah; let’s speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Truth is like a medicine that we all need, but sometimes it is bitter. Putting the medicine into chocolate syrup makes it goes down much easier. May we as faithful servants of Jesus, administer God’s truth to a sick world, mixed with a generous dose of love.
God bless you, Pastor John