Speaking the truth is easy. Speaking the truth in love, is not. Ephesians teaches us that “speaking the truth in love” helps us grow spiritually, and be conformed into the image of Christ. Speaking the truth absent of love, can be divisive and may actually hinder God’s intent. His Word is alive, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It divides the soul and spirit, and discerns the thoughts and intents of our hearts. As a scalpel in the hands of a surgeon, so is the Word of God in the mouth of a Believer. To the hearer, it can bring salvation, deliverance, healing and wholeness. But it can also leave them feeling battered and bruised. We’d do well to take care in the way we handle it.
To speak God’s truth in love, it must live in our hearts by faith. A heart ruled by love. It’s not enough for us to simply hear the word. We are to receive it with an open and honest heart. We must continue in it, be obedient to it, and allow it to accomplish in us what God has intended. It will expose the hidden things of darkness that we have kept from the light. And when it does, we must be faithful to do what God requires, and not ustify the unjustifiable. As King David prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalms 139:23-24)
The truth isn’t always easy to hear. It challenges our preconceived ideas of who God is, and how he operates. It confronts us in areas of personal prejudice, and brings things to light we would rather not see. Just as a cockroach runs to darkness when exposed by light, so do many Christians. Messages affirming prosperity and blessing are fine, but when God begins knocking on doors we’ve nailed shut, we jump behind the couch hoping he’ll go away.
Friends who speak truth into our lives can leave us feeling wounded, but scripture says it’s a “faithful” wound. A wound that will heal, and bring healing. (Proverbs 27:6) “Friend” in this passage is also translated “lover”. Someone who loves another enough to speak the truth. No matter what it cost, the repercussions, or the wounding that may come as a result.
The second part of this scripture teaches us that those who tell us only what we what to hear are not actually our friends, but our enemies. It can lead us down a path of death and destruction; both physical and spiritual. Telling someone what they want to hear is easy, but what happens when it all goes south? When a life ends in tragedy, a tragedy that could have been avoided, have you ever wondered if there was someone who could have said something but remained silent? Has that someone ever been you? Have you missed the opportunity to speak the truth in love?
Do you know Jesus said that on the day we all stand before him, many will say to him “Lord Lord”, but will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven? (Matt 7:21-23) Expecting to hear, “Enter in thou good and faithful servant”, they will hear instead, “Depart from me, you who work iniquity, I never knew you”. Let that sink in for a minute! You cannot possibly wrap your mind around the horror of that moment. The moment a person realizes they are now separated from God, and cast into outer darkness for eternity. No appeals court, no probationary period, and no second chances. They will be people doing things for God, but not in relationship with Him.
Could this be you? How do you know?
Recently, I began to think about “the many”. This very large group of people that Jesus says will be deceived into believing they are in relationship with him, when in fact they are not. Is there any greater deception!? I wonder if there was there anyone in their lives who were concerned. Did anyone suspect that something was wrong? And if so, why didn’t they speak up? Would it have made a difference?
I don’t pretend to have all the answers, nor do I have a corner on truth. But I do have things to share. Things with which you may or may not agree, with some being difficult to hear. But in the end, I hope you are both encouraged, and challenged in your faith. My desire is to be as transparent as possible, speak the truth on love, and be a friend to “the many”.
Welcome to Faithful Wounds.
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” – Proverbs 27:6
“we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ”