Truth is told, love is shown

Truth is told, love is shown

“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment.” Paul says this in Philippians 1:9. Let’s stop and really think about what it means. 

Paul is telling the Philippians that he wants them to have love but that it needs to be founded in knowledge and judgment. It often seems, however, that finding truth and embracing love are different from each other.  

Many people will cry out against sin in the world but neglect the love that Christ has commanded us to share. Many people cry out against abortion, for example, but never take the time to show grace and love to people who may have had an abortion. 

Others will spread love and acceptance to everyone while ignoring the sin in the world and people’s lives that the Bible clearly tells us is wrong. People can be so focused on accepting others, for example, that they forget the standard that sin is still sin and should not be allowed. 

How exactly do we find this balance between truth and love?

To help answer this question, I looked in another chapter written by Paul, 1 Corinthians 13. In this chapter, Paul makes many statements about love including that love is longsuffering and kind and that it is not envious, arrogant, rude or self-centered. 

I worry that many people who push for truth fail to do so with love, but truth is still important. So how can we stand for what is right without compromising our love?

I think the best example of this is in John 8. In this passage, some scribes and Pharisees bring a woman who was caught in adultery to Jesus. The law at the time said that the punishment for adultery was for guilty to be stoned to death, so the Pharisees told Jesus that and asked him what he thought should happen to her.  

His response shows us his wisdom.  He waits to answer and instead writes in the dirt. When he finally does answer, he tells them that whoever is sinless can throw the first stone. He then continues to write in the dirt.. 

After hearing this, the accusers are convicted and all of them leave Jesus and the woman alone.  Jesus then looks up and asks whether anyone has condemned the woman, and the woman says that they all left.

Jesus then said, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”

Jesus did not accept her sin, but he did accept her.

I believe real godly judgment requires love, and real love requires truth.  

Judgment requires us to put away all sin and evil, but love requires us to not put away people. We cannot accept the sin of others, but we must accept the people. 

This is not always easy. True love and true discernment in righteousness come only from God, so I believe Christians need to call on him. With God’s help, we can learn how to never forsake truth and how to love people his way.


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