A Time for Truth and a Time for Love
July 25, 2018
By Ben Hornsby, Director of Men's Discipleship
John 3:16 is the most beloved of all scriptures. John writes, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” These powerful words tell us all we need to know of God’s love. He didn’t send Jesus to believers, non-believers, to good people or bad people–nor did He send Him to one particular nation or group. He sent Jesus for you and me! Saint Augustine said, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us to love.” Think about that and let it sink in for a bit. God is the Father who can be satisfied only when all His wayward children have come to Him.
We live in a world that doesn’t understand what love is. We have lost truth and allowed love to be hijacked into a squishy, feel-good-at-all-cost emotion. Recently I received firsthand the gift of true love. This little story may seem trivial to you, but it was a big deal to me. Whenever I write anything, I run it by Betty to get her take and make sure what I put on paper makes sense and is correct grammatically–one of the benefits of marrying an English teacher! I sent to Betty what I thought was an excellent blog, one of my best. I had great insight, and I was going to make you all the beneficiaries of my wisdom (note my lack of humility). Well, Betty set me straight! She told me what I had written was not my best. Talk about being shot down! I must admit that I was surprised and hurt. Betty was supposed to tell me how great it was! She was supposed to feed my ego and affirm me! I didn’t take what she said too well at all. As the days wore on, however, I came to realize that what Betty did was out of her love for me. I had allowed my ego to take over, but Betty hit me with reality! Thank God Betty loves me so much that she would speak truth to me. Like I said, this seems a bit trivial, but it caused me to examine myself. It was a seminal event for me.
I believe with every fiber of my being that God places people in our lives who will lovingly call us out when we stray from God’s truth. I also believe that the Holy Spirit will lead us and convict us when we act counter to God’s purpose for our lives. The truth spoken to us may hurt. It may stagger our egos, but as Christ Followers God is calling us to a higher purpose than ourselves. Paul writes in Romans 8:28, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those that love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
My dear friends, let us speak loving truth to one another in the name of Jesus. We are witnessing the result of shaping God’s teaching in scripture based on our worldview and not shaping our worldview using scripture. Jesus is very clear and straightforward when He says, “If you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Let us be free in love and truth!