True Love Confronts

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” –Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)

We do not like confrontation. It is messy, uncomfortable, and often creates conflicts that we would rather avoid. When faced with the destructive lifestyle or erroneous thoughts of a loved one, we may know deep down that something is amiss and want to speak up. Yet we refrain from doing so out of fear that we will create unnecessary tension and end up hurting the other person. We try to justify our silence by saying that it is an act of love; that refusing to say anything about the behaviour of the person we love is proof of our concern and sympathy for them. However, in truth it is the exact opposite. It is not an act of love to remain silent for we will simply be letting them go down a road that will bring them pain and misery.

True love will warn someone when they are going in a direction that will end with regret and despair. Such love goes beyond a simple concern for the other person’s feelings, and finds itself caring for their well-being. When driven by such love we will not cease to speak the truth to our loved ones, even if they ignore our words and find us annoying, because we do not want them to go down that path to total oblivion. However, if we try to do this on our own we will find ourselves lacking the courage to speak boldly and the wisdom to use our words well. It is only when we are enabled by Christ’s Spirit that we will find the wisdom and courage to act in love. When we have allowed Him to enter our hearts and seek with humility to abide by His Spirit, we will be careful to walk according to His leading. Guided by Him we will find that He will give us the strength and tact to boldly speak the truth in love so that those who hear may find life abundant.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Truth to Stand On

“Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true.”- Psalm 119:142 (NIV)

Today as I was traveling on the bus, I came across an interesting advertisement. Amongst images of everything pretty, cute, and pleasant on could think of was written, “Dressing it up doesn’t make it true.” It was an advertisement for an organization which helps to expose false messaging in advertising and take them to task. What was more striking was that the sub-heading said, “Truth matters”. In this world it seems that truth has become little more than a personal preference on the lines of a favorite color or what feels good for the moment. But looking at that sign on the bus it was encouraging to know that people still care about objective truth and whether something is universally right or wrong.

As the world comes closer together and new ideas are being constantly churned out, there are many philosophies and worldviews advertising themselves as truth. Wanting to minimize conflict between the plethora of ideas, our culture has taken the position that one truth is just as valid as any other truth. But if truth is simply reduced to something that is dependent on individual preference, we will end up living in an internal contradiction that will lead us into hypocrisy. We will find ourselves condemning a horrendous act in one context yet in the same breath justifying that same act because it took place in a different context. Two contrary ideas cannot exist side by side and there will come a point where we will have to be honest with ourselves and discover what is that objective and absolute truth.

There is only one truth in the world which brings life, and that is found in Christ Jesus. He has revealed His righteousness and law to us through His Word and wants us to be restored through Him. When we have allowed His Spirit to enter our hearts and desire to seek after Him by reading His Word, we will know that His truth is the only way through which humanity can find true hope, healing, and life abundant. If our faith in Christ is based on simply because it feels good for us, then our faith is weak for it is based on human feelings and sentiments that are prone to change and ignore the truth. But when our faith in Christ is based on understanding the truth, our faith in Him will be stronger; having the knowledge to know what is right and wrong so that we may bring life to others by His Spirit.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

He’s Got Your Back!

“‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’” –Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

I remember the first time that I had to leave home and be away from my parents. As part of an elementary school trip I would be away for one whole week at an outdoor camp. Though I was looking forward to the exciting adventures that were to be had, I was also nervous and afraid. A child’s imagination often runs wild and knowing that I would be spending the week in a heavily forested area, there was the fear of the dangers that could be lurking in the woods. But before I left my father recited this verse to me and it brought me so much comfort and joy. Knowing that the all-powerful God who created the Heavens and the Earth was going to be by my side was a huge confidence boost. Even to this day when I feel that I am stepping into the unknown, this verse comes back to me reminding me that God is with me wherever I go.

Situations will come along our path that make us quake in fear. Uncertainty grips our minds and our hearts sink with despair. We wonder how we will ever pull through these situations in one piece. In desperation we cry out for strength and the wisdom to navigate through the storms which we find ourselves sailing into. However, there is hope! No other navigator will suffice expect for Christ Himself. When we have allowed Him to enter our hearts, He will strengthen us in our hour of need. By staying in tune with His Spirit He will guide our steps towards the fulfilment of His perfect plan for our lives. With Him as our Captain, we will have nothing to fear resting in the assurance found in Romans 8:31 that “If God is for us, who can be against us?”. We will be able to stand fearless before our situations and circumstances knowing that it is God who gives us victory and who in His omnipotence will work all things together for good.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.