Have you noticed that certain hot-button issues have the ability to segregate a room full of Christians? People find themselves on the side of harsh judgment or extreme tolerance. We label these extremes Truth and Love. The people who don’t pick a side remain quiet because of their perceived ambivalence. Such polarizing positions should feel wrong to us especially when we recognize that Satan’s job is to polarize. Our world is filled with these so-called dichotomies- Black vs White; Gay vs Straight ; Man vs Woman; Republican vs Democrat. These labels feel safe to us because they define what we should think or feel. They strip away the humanity of those who oppose us.
Somehow, Love vs Truth has been added to this list. I believe this to be one of the problems plaguing the modern church. How can we effectively fulfill our mission if we don’t even understand our mission? Jesus’ mission was one of reconciliation and He modeled this His entire ministry.
Some people refer to Jesus as the most polarizing figure in all of history. When you meet Jesus, you are faced with a choice between –
Being God’s friend vs being God’s enemy
- Blessings vs Curses
- Light vs Darkness
- Good vs Evil
Ultimately, He makes us all choose between Life or death – the only two positions that will matter in the end. It’s ridiculous to think that we have to choose between Truth and Love because in our rejection of one or the other, we ultimately reject Christ.
Psalms 85:10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
I love this visual. The embrace and kiss here are not necessarily romantic in nature, but rather reconciliatory. When I read this passage, I think of married couples, Mercy & Truth and Righteousness & Peace who are on the verge of breaking up. They desperately want the marriage to work because they need each other but just can’t get past this latest trial. They are sitting in the office with the best Counselor. some would even call Him, Wonderful. The session would go something like this;
Counselor: “Why are you here?”
Mercy: “We just can’t get along. He doesn’t care about me anymore.”
Truth: “She never listens to me anymore. Everything is about how she feels. She doesn’t care about the facts.”
Mercy: “Lately, it seems like he has no compassion for anybody.”
Truth: “Of course I care! I don’t want to see people walking into their destruction.”
Mercy: “I don’t want people to face destruction either but people need to know they’re loved”
They realize they want the same thing – to point people toward God. Thankfully, this Counselor specializes in reconciliations. He reminds them that they were brought together for a reason – to reflect the totality of God’s character. Love and Truth complement one another and should be inseparable. Even though the world is broken by sin (truth), He took the punishment of that sin upon Himself (love). There was no way to be made righteous on our own (truth), so He gave us His righteousness (love). Love and Truth work together to show forth the Gospel of Salvation.
We need to recognize that in our extremes we can convey God as either a tyrannical Father or as a permissive sugar-daddy. Both representations are incorrect. Jesus was the perfect embodiment of love and truth. He never alienated people with the truth nor did He use love as an excuse to sanctify or tolerate sin. Whereas Satan aims to separate people from God and each other, Jesus brings together. We further the cause of the enemy when we pick sides in a debate that he manufactured.
Satan doesn’t want people to know the Truth because it sets them free (John 8:32). Nor does he want us to know love (agape), because it is through this knowledge that people come to know God (1 John 4:8). That is our mission – to set people free with the Truth so they can know God’s love and be reconciled to Him.
John 1:17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.
Given this reality, we know which side to pick. The one that Jesus did. He walked in Truth so that people would know the Love of God. This can be our only choice.
Your turn now! Have your say on this topic. Leave a comment below.
- Do you lean too heavily on one side?
- How do Truth and Love work together in your life?