Time to tackle a topic that has bothered me for an era.
When I speak truth, but the person I’m speaking to dislikes it, they always seem to point out that verse on preaching the truth in love.
So here we go.
If it isn’t considered loving to tell someone when they are wrong, and biblically back it up, then why does the Bible also call on us to tell others when they are doing wrong, and if they refuse to heed the call, have them shunned from the church?
I’m going to do a spiritual and physical comparison.
It is biblically a sin to hold another’s past against them after God forgives it. But to tell them that often yields anger and resentment. And to get pointed at that verse about truth in love.
So.. say I don’t tell you why everyone is laughing at you, and hours later when you find out in the mirror, you get mad at me for not telling you about the spinach in your teeth. That spinach is like the sin from the above paragraph. Except this one is something everyone can see, instead of just a select few. You would want to fix this, as being a physical person, you want to look good.
But why can’t we be bothered to fix our own sins and get mad when someone points it out?
Casting Crowns had this brilliant way of putting it, “I’m gonna love you with the truth.”
Truly loving people in the way God does requires truth at all times. And if you think that it needs to be preached a different way, just because it offends you, then let’s go back to the prophets, and to Jesus. The old time prophets who were sent to call people out for their sins were harsh. They were coarse.
Jesus himself called the Pharisees sons of snakes. It was true. But in today’s lovely dovey, feel good society, we would get angry, and not call that very loving. The only way it makes sense to preach the truth in love is to preach it, and not hold back. Jesus never held back.
“Well, maybe that’s because he was Jesus, and because Jesus is God, that makes it okay for him, but not for you.” Give me a break. You just made yourself sound like a fool. Jesus took upon himself the form of a servant. He did nothing on this earth as God, but as man. As we are supposed to do it. All the miracles were not his power, but the power of the Holy Ghost. As he told us to do.
As Christians, we are called to live like he did, do the things he did. Do them his way. Miracles, preaching of the truth, flipping over tables in the temple of the situation calls for it.
Reconcile this foolish modern notion of preaching the truth in love with the way Jesus did it. If you can. It isn’t possible.
After all, if God is a God of love, and he does things that humans wouldn’t call loving, then whose notion of love is considered accurate? Choose wisely.