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The God who loves us enough to tell us the truth...

"Love...rejoices in the truth."

We live in a day when we are told that if we love someone, we will not question their actions, offend them, and never, ever condemn them. The aspersions: "judgmental", "hateful", "intolerant", "bigoted" fly frequently and freely today. While it is certainly true that we are capable of being such people, we must understand the crafty work of the devil, who can paint good as evil and evil as good (Isaiah 5:20).

Perhaps the only more masterful thing the devil has done has been to cause us to view love as hatred and hatred as love. Quite simply, many believe that telling someone the truth when they want to believe and live what is untrue is hatred.

Enter stage left the Word of God. Take some time to read 1 Corinthians 13, and you will find there the definition of love given by the God who is love (1John 4:8). The one thing you might note is that the definition never says, "Love feels like...". According to God, love is known by what it does or does not do. According to God, no feeling that calls itself love can be viewed as love unless it does or does not do the things God attributes to love.

God has told us that amongst other things, "Love...rejoices in the truth." In other words, love can never rejoice in what is untrue. If this is so, how important it is that we understand what the truth is and even more, how important that we be willing to tell each other the truth. That is if we actually love each other. Look around and listen; it would appear that anything and everything can be true today and who are you to tell anyone anything different? How dare you call something right or wrong? True or false? Justifiable or condemnable?

Here's the twist the devil has on the world, if you tell someone the truth, you hate them, and if you affirm their destructive path or at least keep your mouth shut, you love them. Now, most people will affirm the truth that God loves us, but if love rejoices in the truth, what must that mean as it comes to God showing us His love? It means that He must and will tell us the truth. If God is love and He is, He must tell us the truth no matter how badly we want to believe and live a lie, no matter how badly we don't want to hear the truth.

How grateful we should be that God loves us enough to tell us the truth. Imagine that you are watching someone walk towards a cliff's edge, and you know that if they don't stop, they will plunge over the edge to their death. Would it not be murderous to remain silent knowing that you are aware of the danger ahead? What if you warned and the person said that they are fine and happy walking in the direction they are heading and you should mind your own business? What if they called you bigoted, phobic, and judgmental for telling them that they were walking in an unsafe direction? Would love stop warning?

God loves us, and because He does, He is willing to tell us the truth. God is not only willing but determined to tell us the truth even though He knows we don't want to hear it and will call Him a judgmental, hateful God for offending us. But love will not allow God to remain silent. God knows what sin leads to in this life, and even more, He knows what it leads to in the life to come.

Because God loves us, He must tell us that we are sinners and what sin is. God loves us so much that He attaches consequences to sin to scream even louder in our ears. God loves us so much that He is willing to offend us because, quite simply, He knows that we are deceived and will gladly ruin ourselves unless He intervenes with truth and grace to turn us to Himself.

God demonstrated His love ultimately by sending His Son Jesus, The Way, The Truth, and The Life into this world. The world so hated hearing the truth from Jesus; it murdered Him. But this murder was God's plan to rescue you and me from the lies that will ruin us in this life and will damn us in the next. While on the cross, Jesus received from God everything my sin and yours deserve. In raising Jesus from the dead, God accomplished victory over sin, death, and the devil.

The world wants to be left alone. It wants to believe what it wants to believe. It wants to do what it wants to do. It wants everything to be true. It wants love to simply be a feeling and insist that it is right if we "feel it." But God loves us too much to leave this unchallenged. God is willing to lay it all on the line, to get in our face, to tell us things we don't want to hear. He is willing to do this because He loves us. He does this because "Love...rejoices in the truth."

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