The biblical call to love will never force you to trim, deny, or bend the truth, and the biblical call to truth will never ask you to abandon God’s call to love your neighbor.*
In this post-modern world truth is redefined as the need to make it fit a particular situation arises.
And we find the command to speak the “truth in love” much easier to read than practice.
In Luke 18:18-30 Jesus did not allow His love for the rich young man prevent Him from speaking the truth, He did not sugarcoat the bad news the young man needed to hear.
In fact it was because of His love for the young man that the truth was neccessary.
Sometimes we try to make the gospel attractive at the expense of truth. Jesus did not.
It was necessary to expose the central issue of this young man’s heart (idolatry) to allow him to make an informed decision.
“If you want to follow me this is what you must do.”
Truth isn’t mean and love isn’t dishonest. They are two sides of the same righteous agenda that sincerely longs for the spiritual welfare of another.
In 1 Corinthians 13 we read
“Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things,hopes all things, endures all things.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:6-7
We often find tension between “speaking the truth” to those who are caught up in sin, and loving them.
But real love finds no joy in sinful choices and lifestyles, that create unrighteousness that separates us from God .
Instead real love rejoices in truth that Jesus proclaimed “sets us free”.
In reality if we are not willing to tell them the bad news they need to hear, (truth), we do not truly love them.
And our unwillingness reveals selfish desires in our hearts.
A desire for self preservation, to be liked, to not be criticized as judgemental, and harsh.
We must be willing to bear the burden of speaking the truth even when it is not popular. Believing, hoping, enduring for the sake of the One who loved, who died that all would know the truth.
Paul David Tripp writes
“Truth not spoken in love ceases to be truth because it is bent and twisted by human agendas, and love that abandons the truth ceases to be love because it forsakes what is best for the person.”