We see this mix of both truth and love in Paul’s letter to the Colossians. He extended words of deep and meaningful praise and encouragement, but Paul also exhorted the Colossians toward truth, with the expressed goal that “they might be encouraged in heart and united in love” (Col. 2:2a). When Paul loved, he fought for people to have all the richness offered by a life with the Lord. He reminded them of the truth, warned against things that would draw them away, and pointed them toward Christ and unity. Paul’s love wasn’t fluff, and ours shouldn’t be either.
The Colossians were a group of faithful believers that still had some kinks to work out, just like us. As part of the body of Christ, we have the same ability as Paul to strengthen one another and our relationships. If the truth will set us free, then we must be willing to share it with one another. Love does not exist without truth. While this “truth in love” style of living isn’t common in our culture, the Father has given us the truest definition of love through His Son, Jesus, and it is by this uncommon love that we will be recognized as His.
When we love others, sometimes we have to tell people hard things so that we can grow together. I have wasted a lot of time storing up hurts that were never intended. Maybe you can relate. I can know intent but still hold onto the hurt I felt over some issue like little bricks to make a wall between us. As I’ve sought the Lord in how to handle my relationships, He challenged me to get honest with the people around me and stop trying to cover over things out of love and let love truly cover over all. The world tells us that we should forgive and move on, but that can lead us down a path of further struggle and pain if we never actually address our hurts. The Father, however, shows us a better way, combining grace and truth.
So next time you face a sticky situation with a friend or loved one, seek to handle it immediately so anger doesn’t build and the relationship doesn’t break, because one of the greatest acts of love is telling the truth.
Memory Verse: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
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All Abby McDonald Angi Morrison Anne Say Audra Powers Breanna Faith Spearman Brenna Kurz Brittany Marlow Caroline Hultgren Courtney Filippin Dana Schaefer Danielle Biddy Debbie Burns Heather Kenny Jannetta Cox Jessica Parker Jess Ridgeway Joan Lavori Katelyn Wilson Katie Gibson Kelly Orlowski Kerri Barfield Keryn Stokes Kristen Williamson Laura Pendley Lindsay McNeely Lonette Baity Martha Rudolph Nancy Ehlinger Renee Robinson Saretta Wells Tara McGill Taylor Watkins Tierney Nashleanas Wendy Gerdes