Speaking the Truth in Love

“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church” (Ephesians 4:15 NLT).

One of the many concerns of a child of God is to tell the truth of the Word of God without offending anyone. A believer sometimes is reluctant to voice out his opposing views fearing that it may create misunderstandings and may result into animosity amongst the brethren. Although it’s a “pastoral responsibility” to handle difficult issues regarding doctrines, moral, and spiritual concerns, every believer is expected to tell the truth in love and speak with all wisdom. We have to realize that we are called by God to win souls for Christ, and we have an obligation to share the gospel to the lost word and believers as well.

I remember when I was just new in the Lord, there’s always these hunger and thirst for His word deep in my heart, and I could not wait for the next Bible studies and church services. And when I’m with the brethren, we never stopped talking about His word; we shared testimonies and experiences of God’s goodness in our lives. Undoubtedly, the joy of the Lord was there in our midst. Evidently, that kind of atmosphere of speaking the truth in love had made me grow in the Lord. It is true that the sharing of the truth in love will make us grow into the likeness of Christ.

“For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints of marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the hearts” (Hebrews 4:12).

You see, when you open up the Word, it speaks right into a man’s heart and exposes his inner thoughts. His spirit feeds on the Word and his thoughts are renewed according to the will of God. Not only that the Word convicts him, but edifies and builds him. The word becomes a living person of Christ who dwells in his heart and that He remains there to fellowship with him. There’s joy unspeakable because of the presence of the Word (Jesus) deep in his heart.

However, not all will receive the truth of the word of God with positive respond and with an open mind and heart. During His earthly ministry, Jesus suffered great persecutions while teaching and preaching the kingdom of God. The Bible declared that Jesus was a stumbling block to His own. And many were offended by His words:

First, the locale people who knew him personally, who grew up with him and mingled with him in their little town of Nazareth, were insulted by him. They could not accept a boy next door, now a grown up man, preaching to them the wisdom and the righteousness of God (Read Matthew 13:53-58).

Second, the elders and the religious groups hated his guts, because he was exposing the inner thoughts of their hearts. They plotted of killing him because of their pride and of being stiffed necks (Read John7:14-19).

Third, some of the disciples who were with Him were offended on His teachings. The Bible said that many of them went back and walked with him no more (Read John 6:60-66).

You see, these groups of people have one in common: They could not handle the truth of the Word of God. The fact is, no matter how you say the truth in love, there are people out there who will get offended, and become resistant to His word. But this should not bar us from doing what we’re supposed to be doing which is sharing the good news of Christ.

“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after the myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4 NLT).

Now on the last days, people will rebel against the authority of God, especially on His word. They will become people who have “itching ears.” They would choose to hear only the things they wanted to hear. For instance, there are those who like to hear faith teachings only, while others anti-faith teachings. Some like to dwell on prosperity gospel only, others anti-prosperity gospel. Some prefer the subject of prophetic utterances only. Others, however, enjoys the holiness message, and some could not even stand this message; or the end times and the coming of Christ and so forth.

Also, others have been jumping from one church to another, going from one convention to another, and chasing particular teachings they only want to hear. There’s nothing wrong in changing churches and attending meeting conventions, but to listen to only one kind of message out of the whole counsel of God is not healthy to one’s spiritual life. For example, it was not a balanced diet when you only consume fried eggs and bacons three times a day, seven days a week (This is exaggerated, but you got the message anyway).

In some quarters, they loved to hear only the positive side of life. They didn’t want to hear the bad side of town. They didn’t want to hear the negatives, and had no intention of leaving the comfort zones of life either. They had become followers of instant gratification and fantasies. Some had tried to believe that they had a magic wand and were able to change their life situation in a heartbeat. And when things didn’t go well (right away), they resigned the faith. They totally missed the point that believers have to deal with the good fight of faith.

Another group of people are the “Lonely Hearts Club Bonding.” They loved to hear only from Dr. Feel Good. They never get tired to hear over and over and over again, how God loves to break them and mold them. The story of their lives has been a non-stop breaking of whatever. It’s very disturbing when a believer feels that he is being refined and molded by God in a hard way or in painful ways. The question then arises: When are they ever to learn from God so that the “breakings” has to stopped?

I don’t know about you, but I’m a quick learner. I don’t need to learn the hard way from God. God does not need to break me to learn His ways. With God’s grace and His mercy, and by the power of His Holy Spirit, He teaches me His Word. All I need is to have an open heart to listen and learn from the Master, and to surrender my life to Him. And that is to remain and yield in the vine through obedience. Rule of thumb: If you obey and follow the rules you won’t get penalized and punished.

Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” How many times have you ever heard this scripture in your life? And how did you respond to this challenge of Jesus? Are you free? You see, you can only experience true freedom in Christ Jesus when you put your trust in His Word, and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you, guide you, and fire you up with God’s power.

“Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts. I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word” (Psalm 119:97-101 NLT).

Put the Word of God in your spirit, and let His Word become alive in your heart. Spend quality time in meditation of His Word, for you will see the beauty of His awesome works and the wonders of His wisdom. Then boldly tell the truth of the Word of God without compromise. Speak with all authority, for the Gospel of Christ is the power to salvation.

King David the psalmist says, “For You have magnified Your word above all Your name. In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul” (Psalm 138:2-3 NKJ).

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