Slightly Obsessed #182: When Speaking the Truth Makes You the Enemy
So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?
– Galatians 4:16
The apostle Paul loved the people of God.
After his conversion to Christ, he spent his life not only establishing churches, but also ministering to their needs. He often had the unpleasant duty of confronting issues that threatened the fledgling church, and his letters to the Galatians and to the Corinthians were especially aimed at keeping the churches rooted in the faith.
Paul paid a heavy price for the mantle placed upon him by God. He suffered much for his allegiance to Christ, culminating in his martyrdom. Not the least of the wounds he bore were inflicted by the very people he loved so deeply. His poignant question to the Galatians reveals the depth of the hostility some Christians harbored toward him. How it must have wounded him to be attacked by the people he sacrificed so much to serve.
We often think a loving person is one who never crosses us.
But what is the Biblical definition of love? Isn’t it to seek the highest good of others? Doesn’t love require action on behalf of our beloved? If we care about someone, do we stand by and watch while he walks off a cliff? Wouldn’t we snatch our child off a busy street? Wouldn’t we throw a lifeline to a friend treading shark-infested waters?
Exercising “unconditional love” doesn’t mean we never speak the truth to someone living a lie. The term has become a convenient excuse for avoiding the accusations to be heaped upon us if we have the courage to speak out. It builds a wall behind which to hide from reality and avoid the responsibility of caring for our relationships.
Thank God, Jesus didn’t “love” us according to society’s standards.
Had He done so, we would have never known about sin, nor understood our need for a Savior. Our entire planet would have plunged into hell without so much as a word of warning. Thank God, He loved us enough to come into our space and snatch us from the edge of destruction.
Even today, most people don’t understand that Jesus did not come to “judge” us. He came to save us from judgment. He is not the enemy.
He is the truth that brings deliverance.