Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Speaking the truth in love according to the Bible

In Love
A devotional by Allison M. Wilson

Key Scripture:
1 Corinthians 16:14, John 13:35, Philippians 4:8, John 3:1-20, John 4:4-26 (NASB)

I’ve been pondering this, or something like it, for a long time. My heart is heavy. 

As I scroll through social media, I see those I love, on all the different sides of the issues surrounding us in these times, being bludgeoned by the other side of whichever issue. Yesterday, a friend posted that she didn’t want to be Christian if the treatment she kept seeing was what it meant to be one. My heart broke, as I can only imagine my Savior’s does.

We are told in 1 Corinthians 16:14 to speak the truth in love. We are told in John 13:35 that those who are not in Christ will know that we are His by our love, one for another. 

Yet, is that what they see? Or, do they see us disagreeing with everyone to the point of name calling and nasty comments? Do they see the love of Christ showing through our words, whether on social media or in person, or do they see us tearing others down, just because they may not agree with us? Are we seen as loving, or as someone who ignores the hurting of someone else, in the name of our “rights” or beliefs? Is what scrolls through our timeline on social media filled with “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute…worthy of praise…”? (Philippians 4:8)

In all of the Scripture reading I have done, I have never seen Jesus scaring anyone into a relationship with Him. He already knew where the hearts of most of the Pharisees stood. For those He knew would come to Him, like Nicodemus (John 3:1-20), He spoke in love, and drew him with that love, into a right understanding. Jesus didn’t ever scare someone out of hell. He loved them into Himself. 

When He insulted the Pharisees, it was with the full knowledge, that we cannot have, of what they would choose to believe. He called out sin without calling out the person. See how He dealt with the woman at the well. (John 4:4-26) He knew her sin, full well. Everyone knew who she was and what she had done. Yet, He did not speak to her in judgement and shame her. He loved her where she was, and called her out to a better life in His love.

We cannot control what others post. We have the calling from God to be a light to those in darkness, and that darkness may even be shrouding other believers. We are not called to browbeat them into our opinion. I once heard it said that you will never convert someone you have insulted. Yet, I see insults flying around all the time, in an effort to change the minds of others. Done by those who claim the name of Jesus, it takes on even more gravity. 

We know the love of Christ, but are acting out of our flesh too often in these times. Personally, I believe that is what it means when He tells us not to take the Lord’s name in vain. We bear the name of CHRIST, but we act as poorly, and worse sometimes, as those who do not believe. The grief this must cause Him.

Let’s pray: Dearest Jesus, I do not want to be someone who drives others away from a life with You in eternity by my words or actions. I want to love as You love, see others as You see them, and walk as You walked. Show me where I am missing the mark. Guide my steps onto Your path of love for everyone I encounter, in person or online. Let only Your love be what they see from me. In the precious name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

Author Bio:

A very early reader and lover of the written word, Allison M. Wilson has been writing since the age of 8 with the heart to impart stories and God's truth.

She has judged countless contests for the last 25 years, reviewed for several online publications, professionally edited, and written articles and devotionals.

Wife, mother, writer, editor, teacher, mentor, and mompreneur, God keeps her busy while living in east central Florida with her family.

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