Ever heard people who use the phrase: “Well… I just spoke the truth, or, well.. somebody just had to say it because isn’t it true?”
Nine out of ten times, most people who make such remarks make attempts to ease their consciences after brutally conveying some truth to somebody or a group of people who probably— may or may not have— needed to hear that truth.
And I have also been guilty of making such-like kind of remarks in the past as well.
Now, I am an ardent believer of truth and the Truth. Truth being: a state of facts that are verifiable, indisputable and conform to reality; in addition to principles such as integrity and uprightness. And the Truth – being Jesus.
Living in a world where truth is devalued and watered-down every other day; as well as in a generation where there is a rise in population of people experiencing mental health problems, I believe that any, and, all truth must be lived continuously and spoken progressively— in love and with compassion— just as Jesus Himself demonstrated.
There – absolutely – cannot exist love without truth, and truth without love.
For any effective transformative work to be successful in anybody’s life or in any society, both must mutually and harmoniously coexist.
By this I mean, I cannot say that I love my brother, sister or friend, and watch them waste their lives away with passions, lusts, hunger for power, materialism, drunkenness and all sorts of destroying vices – in the spirit of love and not wanting to judge. Because that would be hypocritical.
And the inverse is also true, I cannot speak truth to my brother, sister or friend without a depth of compassion and understanding their inability to recognize the effects of their destructive lifestyles themselves. I cannot speak truth to any person without primarily sharing God’s love with them and demonstrating His love for them.
Because over time, I have come to learn that dishing out truths to people just because “it is true” hardens the hearts of those on the receiving-end more than it makes them receptive to the message.
Truth: for it to be effective, must be spoken in love, in brokenness of spirit, and like a prayer – as one pleading with, and crying to God – for it to help any person who is living a life defiant to God; so that that person is able then, to recognize his/her own sins firstly to God, then to his/her own body, and then to others— and their effects thereon.
We, therefore, must exemplify the example of Jesus and emulate the way He spoke truth to people.
The only time and place where Jesus was categorically stern and downright firm on speaking truth blatantly was within the religious community. This is because most of the scribes, the pharisees, and the sadducees were familiar with the scriptures. They had read God’s word, yet, they disobeyed it and acted extremely hypocritical, which was misleading and pretentious in the eyes of those to whom they ministered.
To such, Jesus did not mince or spare His words (that whole rebuke is found in Mathew 23). And I, personally, admire that deeply; and I ask God to grant me such a back-bone in my own life as well every day especially when dealing with people who know God and His word but continually live hypocritically causing God’s name to be blasphemed by those who do not know Him.
Because – in the pursuit of being tolerant of people – we at times become overly accepting of people’s behaviours and actions especially in matters where hard truths need to be spoken, and particularly to people who are in constant violation of the code of ethics they purport to represent. And that is hypocrisy! Better a person who has no principles, or even a moral compass and lives his/her life as he/she desires, than one who presents himself/herself to have certain principles yet leads a lifestyle contrary to those principles.
Reverting back to speaking truth to the world, or to people generally, Jesus said that He did not come to condemn the world but that through Him, the world might be saved.
Because the world in itself is already condemned.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believes on Him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Knowing this therefore, there are no more hard truths we can drill in to a world, or a people – who firstly, do not care about people’s opinions of their lives and secondly, do not intend to change them on the basis of those opinions – that can make them transform or change their lives.
The only thing approaches such as these — “Well, I just spoke the truth, or, well, somebody just had to say it because is it not true?” — manage to accomplish— in the spirit of keeping it real — is hardening of hearts even the more, as well as introducing and affirming legalistic views of those truths on their part.
Only God’s truth, and God’s word can effectively transform a man. And God’s truth and word can never be effective void of God’s power— through His Holy Spirit— and an understanding of His love towards man; which is simply—
Thus, it is not enough to just speak the Truth or any truth for that matter.
Truth must be spoken in love, and with humility and in the fear of God. And for it attract the attention of a defiant soul, it must as well be lived in the love and the fear of God.
Okay… Let’s just be honest, whenever most people hear anything about religion, their first reaction and instinct is probably to cringe or brush off the whole matter entirely.
Why? Most likely because it is a subject that is associated with extreme cases of fanaticism, it brings about a lot of conflicts and controversies, and even offends easily.
Religion is famously known for: manipulation, stagnation, repression, ignorance, bigotry and is too often a threat to liberty. And rightly so. I do agree. With that said, I recommend you to read two of my posts as well as encourage you to do a personal, extensive, and honest research on your own regarding this matter. Why?
As intellectuals (critical thinkers), I believe we owe it to ourselves to interrogate, examine, and ask hard questions regarding matters touching on faith rather than choosing to ignore them or even worse— follow blind faith. Click here for the first post.
Who speaks the truth with regards to a genuine, sincere and true relationship with God? Is it Buddha? Muhammad? Jesus? Zoroaster? Confucius? Joseph Smith? Guru Nanak? Krishna? Among others? Find out on this second post:
My heart overflows with a goodly matter; I speak the things which I have made touching the king: My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Psalms 45:1
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