Do you ever feel like the truth is being pitted against kindness and compassion? Like standing for truth is equated with disregard for the struggles of others, and showing love and mercy is equated with compromise? The reality is that according to the Word of God, these are not at odds at all. God is Truth, and God is Love, and He expects His people to stand for both
Yet somehow both “sides” can be distorted to seemingly exclude the other. This is a tricky deception and a dangerous trap because it leads to ignoring aspects of God’s own character. The Bible says,
You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. (1 Peter 1:22 NLT)
Showing love is a direct result of acknowledging the truth of God’s Word. This doesn’t mean that everyone “does it right.” No doubt we’ve all seen people proclaim truth in a less than loving way, or on the other hand, we’ve witnessed dishonest acts in the name of love. So how do we avoid these pitfalls?
Speak the truth in love, not harshness. (excerpt from Fellowshipping With the Holy Spirit, by Dr. Chester C. Pipkin, Jr.)
This simple guidance is key… . When we don’t draw back from speaking the truth (of God’s Word), we are faithful to avoid compromise. And when we choose to operate in gentleness and love, then that truth is a source of life and help, pointing others to the God of both love and truth. We can’t accurately reflect His true character without both.