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Speaking the Truth in Love

by David A. DePra

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things,

which is the head, even Christ. (Eph. 4:15)

     We live in the age of RELATIVISM.  Relativism is a philosophy

behind which is the premise that there is no such thing as absolute

Truth. In other words, I can adjust the Truth to fit me, or my situation.

Furthermore, Truth is not constant -- nor the same for everyone. It

is made "relative" to everyone and everything.

     Now, if we really give it some thought, we will see what "relativism"

is really saying. It is saying there is NO Truth. That's right. For if

Truth changes it is not Truth. Truth, by definition, never changes.

     We might expect such insanity from the world. But unfortunately,

relativism is invading the body of Christ. Except that we don't call

it relativism. We call it "tolerance," or "inclusiveness," or perhaps

worst of all, we call it LOVE.

     "Love?" Yep. It has become "love" to lie to people, or to water

down the Truth.  After all, we certainly wouldn't want to hurt their

feelings or offend their pride. We certainly would not want to be

"judgmental." So just tell everyone, no matter whether they are lost

or living in sin, that they are just fine. Pat them on the back and send

them off into further darkness.

     Of course, I am not suggesting that we ought to go around trying

to straighten everyone out. Not only would we be obnoxious, but we

would not straighten them out. But there is a big difference between

remaining silent and letting God work, and proactively agreeing

with someone that sin is ok. There is a huge difference between

bearing with the sins of others, and forever allowing them to think

that what they are doing is not sin at all.

A Balance

     God tells us to "speak the Truth in love." Here we see three

things. Number one, we are to SPEAK the Truth. We are not to

always or forever remain silent. We are to speak.

     Is it ever best to remain quiet? Sure. But if we remain silent about

the Truth, we should remain silent in love. Too many of us remain

silent out of the fear of looking bad or of making enemies. No. If we

are to speak the Truth in love, then when we are silent it should be

for the same reason: Love.

     Secondly, we are to speak the TRUTH. But Truth alone will not

do. Thirdly, we must speak the Truth in LOVE. Truth which is

spoken in love is always redemptive. There is carried with it the

purpose of pointing someone to Jesus Christ so that they can find

freedom in HIM.

     Now notice: Speaking the Truth in love is not some whimpish,

soft-spoken plea. No. It is a direct statement of the nature of things,

without apology. But always with the hope and intent of redemption.

     Speaking the Truth in love can quite possibly offend people. It

is possible that they will get mad at you, and even hate you as an

enemy. That's what happened to Jesus, and He ALWAYS spoke

the Truth in love.

     In this day and age of relativism, if you speak the Truth in love,

you WILL make enemies. You will make enemies of those who

want you to sanction sin. And you will make enemies of Christians

who refuse to face their own accountability before God.

     In the final analysis, if I refuse to speak the Truth in love with

regard to others, it is because I am probably not speaking it with

regard to me. I am probably refusing to face the Truth which God

has before me. I need to decide: Will I allow God to adjust ME to

fit His Truth? Or will I insist that I adjust the Truth to fit ME? Will I

suggest that the Truth of God is relative?

     Jesus Christ said, "You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall

set you free." This starts by calling sin by it's name. It starts by

calling myself what I am: A sinner. But that's not all. Knowing the

Truth means knowing Him. And that spells a redemptive freedom

which I cannot experience by any other means. *

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