Sometimes, the truth hurts. It’s not that we don’t already know we’re on the wrong path…it’s when it’s brought to the light of day by someone else that we squirm. For when someone is bold and loving enough to confront us openly and honestly…we need to not react, but to listen. It’s called speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). It’s genuine love, not wanting to wound, but sincerely desiring spiritual growth in the other person.
For many, the bondage of fear stops us from being able to move forward with life. We long to be liberated from the paralyzing emotions, but feel there’s little we can do to change. But if we’ll take the time to study a few Scriptures, we’ll discover that God has already made the way for us. It starts with this verse in Psalms. When I cry out to the Lord, He answers by liberating me from the terror I’m going through…in other words, setting me free from its control. And this freedom from fear can only be found in the truth of the Gospel. For Jesus declares to us in John 8:32, ” If you hold to My teachings, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” There can be freedom from doubt and fear, and it starts with the saving revelation of the Gospel Message.
Everyday you see people doing what they think is the “right” thing…yes, they’re good people with good intentions…but unfortunately, they don’t have God in their world. Their life consists of works and legalism…with a mental score-sheet that they keep track of their points…thinking that they can somehow work their way to heaven. For they truly believe that a loving God would never deny a good person access to heaven. But Jesus replied to this in Matthew 7:21 when He said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the Will of My Father who is in heaven.” The world has its own standard of what being a good person and doing what seems to be right is…but it sadly falls eternally short of God’s standard.
Jesus says to us in John 15:4, “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.” For us, this means being rooted and established in the truth of the Gospel and trusting in the Lord daily. And from this will come a over-abundance of fruit in our life…of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22)
We have become so accustomed to hearing half-truths, falsehoods, and the spinning of the account to serve ones self…it’s hard to identify truth from lies now a days. Selfish love deliberately mixes truth with falsehoods to best serve the present situation. They conveniently leave out details that might incriminate or point the finger to them…having no regard for others. Selfish love is only interested in its own welfare…not caring how it may impact another person. The love of Christ is glad to tell the truth…the correct and accurate rendition…not the sugar-coated half-truth that might get us out of trouble. Also, unselfish love doesn’t have to remember what story was told to who…if it’s the truth from the beginning.
The diversity between bright sunshine and complete darkness is a stark contrast. In bright sunshine, we can walk confidently, even in unfamiliar terrain, for we can see the path we’re following and the obstacles around us. But when it’s total darkness, we struggle to make our way…stumbling, falling, and lurching along…fearful of the next step. Isaiah 42:16 speaks of this, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.” Allow the God of light to illuminate your path today with truth and wisdom.