Ephesians tells us “speaking the truth in love” helps us grow spiritually, and can shape us into the image of Christ. Speaking the truth absent of love, can be divisive and may actually hinder God’s intent. Speaking the truth is easy. Speaking the truth in love, is not.
The Word of God is alive, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It divides the soul and spirit, and is a discerner of 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 use it incorrectly, and it can leave them 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 first live in our hearts by faith. Simply hearing the Word is not enough. 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. 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)
Truth isn’t always easy to hear. It challenges our preconceived ideas of who God is, what He does, and how He does it. It confronts us in areas of personal prejudice, and brings to light things we have 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 speaking 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 the cost, the repercussions, or the wounding that may come.
The second part of this scripture teaches us that those who tell us what we want to hear are not our friends, but our enemies. Telling someone what they want to hear is easy, but can lead down a path of death and destruction; both physical and spiritual. What happens when it all goes south, and life ends in tragedy. Could something have been said, but those around 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. When 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 were 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”. Those who were deceived into believing they were in relationship with Him. Is there any greater deception!? Were any of their friends or family concerned? And if so, and nothing was said, why not? 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, and some will be 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 in 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