There are so many important biblical truths that need to be in balance with other truths to be life changing. One of these very important balances is between truth and love.
Ephesians 4:14-16 (NLT)
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.  Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.  He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
There is absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that we are called to love those we lead and pastor. However a very important part of sincere love is telling people the truth in love. I don’t believe we truly love or care for someone unless we are willing to tell them, in love, the truth.
John 8:32 (NLT)
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The truth is essential when it comes to loving and discipling people.
If someone we are charged to care for is living in sin and we don’t come along beside them in love and share the truth of God’s word, how can we say we care for them?
If we don’t share the truth, they won’t be able to see the way they’re living isn’t pleasing to God, and won’t learn how to change.
What if we saw someone we love was about to be hit by a car?
I’m sure we would run and knock them out of the way. It’s going to hurt them a bit but it also saves their life.
Sometimes it’s like this when it comes to speaking the truth in love. We all know the truth can hurt sometimes. But Godly truth is what sets us free to live for Jesus, and if we hold back truth from people we are holding back their growth in God.
Often it is fear that holds us back from speaking the truth in love, and maybe you’ve thought things like….
- they might take it the wrong way and get offended
- they might think I’m trying to be controlling
- it’s none of my business anyway
- what if they get upset and leave the Church?
There can be many reasons that would try to hold us back. However we as pastors and leaders are called to speak the truth in love to help people become all they can be in Jesus and see the kingdom of God advance.
We need to do the absolute best we can to love the people God brings into our care, and an important part of this love is speaking God’s truth to them when they need it most.
We need to overcome any fears that hold us back. I will leave you with one more verse.
1 John 4:18 (NLT)
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.