Truth in love

“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ”  Ephesians 4:15

One of my sister’s favorite things to quote at me is “We need to speak the truth in love; being neither loveless in our truth, nor truthless in our love.”  So much harder than either alternative.  She is also quick to remind me of an opening thought in Beyond the Bounds (edited by Piper, Taylor and Kjoss Helseth).

As to your opponent, I wish,, that, before you set pen to paper against him, and during the whole time you are preparing your answer, you may commend him by earnest prayer to the Lord’s teaching and blessing.  This practice will have a direct tendancy to conciliate your heart to love and pity him; and such a disposition will have a good influence upon every page you write…. [If he is a believer,] in a while you will meet in heavern; he will then be dearter to you than the nearest friend you have upon earth is to you now.  Anticipate that period in your thoughts… [If he is an unconverted person,] he is a more proper object of your compassion than your anger.  Alas!  “He knows not what he does.”  But you know who has made you to differ [1 Cor. 4:7].”   John Newton

The whole introduction is an excellent read, on how and why to express disagreements with one another.  The book in it’s entirety is available at Desiring God’s website

I am struggling with the balance myself.  I have strong opinions, and want to have, as Taylor says “a tolerant spirit toward persons that manifests itself in love; while not being “tolerant in mind of what God has plainly revealed to be either evil or erroneous.”  (Quoting Stott) 

And, I love the next quote in the book!  “The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”  Chesterton.

So, when I feel compelled to speak/blog, I pray that my words are full of a balance of truth and love.   

Rob Bell suggests that those who “engage in mudslinging” “are miserable, and they use religion as a crutch to avoid dealing with their misery and their pain. And what gets masqueraded as Christian faith is not. And we need to be careful spending all sorts of energy engaging with people who don’t have any interest in coming along on the journey with us.”  May I never leave anyone with the impression that I am so busy throwing mud at those in the EC that I am not being obedient in loving God, or others….

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