I think we have all noticed the sudden uptake in positive reinforcement when someone tells it like it is. I have caught myself saying or thinking, “Well they can just deal with it,” believing in that moment that my statement carries enough value to warrant a total disregard for the people who are on the receiving end of it. I add to this argument with the old manifesto of “truth hurts.” After all, the Bible declares God’s Word, the ultimate source of Truth, to be a sharp sword, (Eph 6:17 & Heb 4:12) able to pierce the joint and marrow. I don’t know about you, but when I think about being pierced, yes, I do believe that would hurt. Furthermore, as many Christians (myself included) have pointed out, Jesus spoke boldly and truthfully - he even referred to the Pharisees as a brood of vipers! (Matthew 23:33)
Then, as only God can, He turned this all around and pierced me with the Truth that I have been wielding against others. First, God reminded me that piercing is different from bludgeoning. How many times have I, as a Christian, picked up my “sword” and proceeded to bludgeon someone with my words rather than letting God’s Word slice through to their spirit? More than I care to think about. Ephesians 6:17 tells us only to take the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God). That is it. Hebrews 4:12 does not tell us, the sword-holder, to pierce the person; rather it says that the sword itself will do the piercing. The Word of God itself will do the piercing- not me. So I actually have no part in the piercing at all. It’s all God… which is not actually not at all satisfying to my pride if I’m being honest. There are days that I enjoy wielding my words into a sword and attacking those on the opposing side. Recently, I have been studying the Gospels in my devotions, and yes, there are many times that Jesus spoke the truth with great boldness and in a way that was probably painful to the hearers. But, as I read and re-read the accounts, there is one fundamental difference between when Jesus speaks and when I do.
Jesus is love, and I am not.
Oh how that hits me like a ton of bricks.
If I am being authentic, I must admit that I have maybe never spoken to someone I love with a perfectly pure motivation and affection, much less someone that I have determined is in need of a lesson in reality. Yet, every single word that was uttered from Christ’s mouth was completely enveloped in a perfect love without an ounce of malice, bitterness, pride or selfishness. Every single conversation that Jesus engaged in that was boldly harsh was just as loving and righteous as every single conversation that Jesus held that gave supernatural peace. Jesus is love. Love is Jesus. You cannot separate the two.
So, perhaps in the future, before we start to tell it like it is and boldly yet flippantly announce the truth the world needs, instead, we beg God for His heart, ask Him for His discernment, and pray for His words to be spoken. Maybe we start kneeling in prayer, asking for our words to be enveloped with the love of Christ that we are called to reflect to all people at all time.
Only then will we be in the proper position to tell it like it is.
Only then can we trust that the pain truth brings is caused by the Sword of the Spirit and holds a heavenly purpose of salvation for the hearer.
About Holly's Blog
Holly loves to write, and you'll find her blog covers all different topics!