How to Teach the Truth in Love

“I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.”— Acts 20: 35-38 A certain church got rid of their pastor. When asked why, a spokesman said, “Because he kept telling us that we’re hell-bound sinners.”

The questioner asked, “What does the new guy say?”

“Oh, he tells us we’re sinners too.”

“Well, what’s the difference?’

“The difference is that when the first one said it, he sounded glad about it. But when this pastor says it, he lets you know that it’s breaking his heart.”

That is the kind of ministry and witness that Paul exemplified. Truth taught without compromise, but with deep, sacrificial, unconditional love.

If we thought about the people with whom we have tried to share our faith, would they respond with tears and sadness if we disappeared out of their lives? Or would they be glad to be rid of a self-righteous person more intent on being right and “holy” than on being a loving friend or relative?

When the Word of God is given with love, and the Christ-like life lived without hypocrisy or pride, then the Holy Spirit can reach hearts that are not hardened by suspicion or defensiveness.

“You must support the weak,” Paul said.

And isn’t that just about all of us?

We are all weak. All sinners. All needing to be saved by grace.

DEVOTIONALSRay Bentley