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Speak Truth

November 14, 2016

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”

“Let the righteous . . . reprove me, it shall be an excellent oil which shall not break my head.”

What motivates a man to speak truth to another? Does a man only speak uncomfortable truth to another out of dislike? Would not a genuine friend speak truth because of his genuine affection?

The book of Galatians is confrontational. Paul exhorts, rebukes, pleads and reasons with the Galatian churches because they had believed the lies of the Judaizers. What motivated Paul to speak those unwelcome truths? Why did he challenge their beliefs? Paul asks the Galatians “Am I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” Were his feelings hurt? Did Paul write an angry letter because he was fed up with the folly of the Galatians?

Paul obviously loved the Galatians. Though the letter may be harsh at times (“O foolish Galatians!”), Paul’s deep affection for the church resonates throughout the entire epistle. As a loving friend, Paul wounded the Galatians. A true friend will speak truth for the benefit of his friend.

All Christians have an obligation to be faithful enough friends to wound one another. Sin is a cruel enemy that deceieves and hardens the heart. Loving Christians must give careful attention to the spiritual well being of one another lest they fall victim to the lies of sin. Though saved no believer is free from the self-delusion that a favored sin is no big deal. The fleshly nature is expert at justifying it’s wrong doing. A loving friend will cut through the self-deception to lay bare the inconvenient truths the flesh has sought to hide behind an array of excuses and rationalizations. The loving brother knows that as long as those lies are in place repentance will not happen and growth will be hindered. The loving brother will wound pride and injure feelings for the eternal good of his friend.

The Christian’s duty is to care for one another so greatly that truth becomes more valuable than feelings. In Galatians 6 the believer is told that if a fellow Christian falls into sin he should work to restore that errant brother. The process of restoration begins with truth telling. The first step in dealing with sin is telling the sinning brother his fault. Loving confrontation that seeks to bring the fellow believer back into a right walk with the Lord is essential to the Christian’s life.

All Christians should have a commitment to speaking truth, even when truth is painful, because their lives are built on Him who is the Truth. Truth should always be on the lips of the believers. The child of God must always be speaking that which is true and profitable for others. Despite the often unpopular nature of truth, truth should still be indispensable in our converstaions.

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