Berean cogitations

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Truth or love?

On a couple of occasions, I've seen people ask, "What is more important -- truth or love?" With all due respect to these people, that is a false dichotomy. True love includes being willing to speak the truth and correct falsehoods. What's more, while love will generally require gentleness and diplomacy, there are times when it will also require harsh words and a stern rebuke. Anybody who has ever raised a child knows what that is like!

Now, I'm not saying that criticisms and harsh words are always justified. (I hasten to say this, since it should be pretty self-evident. Nevertheless, there are self-professed believers who invariably tend to read such a message into such words, no matter how carefully one addresses this topic.) Rather, my point is that it is commonplace for people to complain, "Why are you criticizing what I believe? Not very loving, are you?" They fail to grasp that true love requires speaking out when people are mistaken and being deceived.