Speaking the Truth in Love; May 7, 2020

1 John 5:11-12 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

It is of extreme importance that John, the Apostle of Love, is so blunt right here. Love does not mean pampering! Paul famously tells us to “speak the truth in love,” (Ephesians 4:15) but if we aren’t speaking the truth, we aren’t loving accurately. Society demands that we tell “while lies” to get along, but that is indeed a very slippery slope. We don’t have to say everything we know, particularly when our words would be hurtful, but we must never flip the truth just to please our hearers. People are very quick to say, “A loving God would never (fill in the blank).” However, that just shows that they’re defining God, and love, as “pleasing to them.” God is far bigger than that, and His love is far stronger! There are indeed many shades of gray in the world, but the big issues are binary. Many people are offended by this statement of John, just as they are offended by Jesus’ parallel statement that John recorded: “No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) It would generally be counterproductive in terms of evangelism to lead with the negative, but we must never back down from this fundamental truth. If we let go of the absolute claims of Christ, we have let go of life itself.

This is a huge issue in my life. If I weren’t convinced of the truth of John’s statement, and Jesus’ statement, I wouldn’t be pouring my life into telling people about Jesus. Sadly, I have relatives who don’t understand or agree with my motivation, and I pray God’s mercy on them. There are people who have been in this church, seemingly strong believers, who have abandoned the exclusive claims of Christ because they have swallowed the devil’s lies. When someone chooses to follow my blog I try to assess where they are spiritually by reading some of their posts, and frankly, some of them seem pretty off the wall. I’ve got to be at peace with the reality that I’m not God, and that’s an extremely good thing. I am to keep speaking and writing the truth in love, whether my hearers and readers interpret it as love or not. Lies are never love, however much we might think they are.

Father, thank You for my physical father and his life-principle of absolute honesty. I have been blessed immeasurably by that. Help me express Your love accurately, in all honesty, so that many will have their eyes opened to the lies that have bound them, and so repent and believe, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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