It’s a balancing act…
Have you ever been forced to choose between two options when you really wanted both? Eggs or bacon? Peanut butter or jelly? Soap or water? Sometimes we want both. Sometimes we need both.
When it comes to truth and love, we really need a balance of both.
Truth is a big deal. Truth builds a strong, lasting foundation, holding up everything we do. Love is just as important as truth. As Christians, we are called to speak the life-changing truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And we are obligated to speak it with love:
“Then, we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church” (Ephesians 4:14-15).
What does a mature Christian look like?
A mature Christian knows the truth. We don’t believe everything we hear. We aren’t easily tricked by lies. We know the truth because we know God’s word. We may lose our debit card, we may lose our keys, but we must never lose our commitment to God’s word.
A mature Christian speaks truth in love. Yes, we know the truth. Yes, we speak the truth. But we aren’t careless about how we speak the truth. We don’t speak the truth harshly or in anger. We speak the truth in one way only—in love.
A mature Christian is in the process of becoming more like Jesus. Jesus told the truth, even when it was difficult, but he always spoke truth with kindness and compassion. When Jesus met the rich ruler (Mark 10:21), he spoke the truth—the ruler was too attached to his possessions. But the Bible also tells us that Jesus genuinely loved him. Truth and love work together.
One of our great challenges is to balance truth and love. The Bible instructs us to, “always stand for truth” (2 Corinthians 13:8), but also emphasizes that, “whoever does not love does not know God” (1 John 4:8). We must be concerned about lost souls, but when we speak the truth of Jesus we must also be concerned about being compassionate and kind. The truth of God’s word must be balanced by the goodness of God’s love.
Truth spoken with love builds up and heals. Every day, we encounter people who need truth and who long for love. Let’s be committed to sharing God’s truth and love with a world that desperately needs both.
Dear God, help me know the truth by knowing your word. Immerse me in your love so I am kind and gentle with the hearts and feelings of others. And, Lord, please give me wisdom to balance truth and love—telling the truth of salvation and doing it with tenderness and love. In Jesus’s name, amen.