There is No Shame in Truth-telling

I can tell you from personal experience throughout my life that being falsely accused of acting in an unloving manner just plain hurts. Like most other women (and quite a few men), I like it best when people like me. :)

Yet there have been times in my life when I have been conscience-bound to speak truth into a tough situation even if I expected it might not be well-received.

What makes truth-telling even more difficult, however, is when fellow  brothers and sisters in Christ ask us not to “rock the boat” for fear of repercussions.

I do not refer to those voices who caution us to speak God’s truth gently or even intelligently (that message is needed, too!), but those who would ask us to quit speaking truth altogether.

Many grow weary of debate in current Christian circles, and some even ask for silence. Yet the example of Christ gives us reason to risk offending others for the sake of the Gospel!

Sometimes false accusations about our character or motives (not just the words we speak) dissuade us from truth-telling. They work just as the enemy intends by effectively shaming us into silence.

Sometimes we simply feel alone in our truth-telling, and so after a while, we simply give up.

According to Billy Graham, “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.”

We need courage now more than ever, my truth-telling friends!

I’m reminded of this recent favorite from Galatians 1:10:

“For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”

As a bond-servant of Christ, I am willing to cause offense, even at great personal cost, not because I despise others or believe I am so much better, far from it. If you’ve read this blog, you know without a shadow of a doubt that I fall short of perfect.

I eat when I shouldn’t,

I disrespect my husband,

I choose anger instead of joy.

I sin.

I’m a miserable sinner saved solely by grace, Praise be to His Name!

In spite of my own imperfections, I am willing to take the risk of offending because I believe God’s Word enough to bear the wound of potential rejection.

The wound is worth it because I know the power of both grace and truth in my own life for affecting change from the inside-out, and I want others to experience that same power, too, all for the glory of the Lord!

Furthermore, I believe Jesus when He says in Matthew 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (emphasis mine)

My brothers and sisters in Christ, if you are bearing the brunt of a difficult stance, whether public or private, please realize that you are not alone. In fact, according to Jesus, you are in excellent company!

You see, the world would have us Bible-believing Christ-followers to accept that truth-telling isn’t just un-kind, it’s downright un-Christian.

It’s another Screwtape reversal in which something that is based on a little bit of truth sounds right and good but is really twisted, insidious and destructive.

The world would have us believe a lie.

There is no shame in truth-telling, friends.

Because being a Christian is being a follower of Christ, and Jesus had no problem speaking truth in love, even to the point of death itself. Likewise, his disciples followed his example to their own gruesome deaths, all for the sake of a gospel that the world around them found offensive.

I applaud what Answers in Genesis has to say on the issue:

“As Christians, we need to have the utmost integrity in all areas and be careful not to be a stumbling block to a fellow Christian. We should make every effort to live at peace with others (Romans 12:18). This does not mean, however, we will never offend a fellow Christian if, for example, a rebuke is needed. Even though we speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), we might still offend. We must live by the truth of God’s Word, and those people who are living contrary to the truth are often offended.”

And here’s what Jesus had to say to his followers on the issue:

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” Jn. 15:18-19

We can and should expect persecution because of the gospel we are so aligned with!  Not only that, it’s our badge of honor, in a sense.

By all means love one another, but in so doing, don’t become salt-less in a salt-needy world.

Many grow weary of debate in current Christian circles, and some even ask for silence. Yet the example of Christ gives us reason to risk offending others for the sake of the Gospel! Read here to learn why there is no shame in truth-telling.

Instead, put your lamp on a stand for all to see.

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Mt. 5:16

So this is me,

lifting my lamp,

and praying,

praying that by it, others will see!

Jen :)

Sharing with: Saturday Soiree, Grace and Truth

Comments

  1. says

    Let’s stay salty! Reminds me of the time I had to stand up to my neighbor here in Turkey. She thought that since her shoes (left outside her door) had been stolen OBVIOUSLY the elevator repairman had done it. And she called the manager of the company to get the guy fired. She wanted me to testify that the repairman had done it, and I said, No. That was not fair or just. There was no way to know. She was incensed at me, but I made a stand. May God give you grace as you keep making a stand as well.

    • says

      It’s hard to stand up for what’s right when it strains our relationships with others, isn’t it, Betsy? But we must obey God rather than men!
      Jen :)

  2. says

    I absolutely, 100%, LOVE this post!! Too often we’re expected to not rock the boat when the boat truly needs to be rocked for the glory of God and for the growth of everyone involved. I so appreciate this post. It takes courage to tell the truth, and potentially cause conflict because of it, but God is our source for identity and grace. He is faithful to His promises and tells us He walks these roads with us. Excellent post, Jen!

  3. says

    This is a great post! You’re absolutely right–love speaks the truth. Concealing the truth through silence is not showing love. Love speaks truth, even when it’s hard.

    • says

      Hi, Christi! Happy to have you stop by here. I’ve just recently come to know of your blog through some mutual friends and have really enjoyed it. :) And I love AIG, too!
      Jen

  4. Marni says

    Jen,
    Did I need to read this, or what?!? Exhorting is so not fun, but absolutely necessary! Please pray for myself as I am faced with this very situation, and am fearful of (once again) being “misunderstood” :( Thank you…<3
    Blessings,
    M

    • says

      Praying for you, Marni! It’s not easy, but as long as we go into it with the right attitude, and in love, we can trust that even if we are misunderstood, the Lord is with us!
      Jen :)

  5. says

    When i know i have to say something important that needs to be said right, i pray these words,
    ‘May the meditation of my heart and the words of my mouth be acceptable in your sight dear Lord, my rock and my redeemer.’
    Works everytime. We must have faith.

  6. says

    This post resonates my life. I’m always considered to be the outcast, because I’m misunderstood and judged prematurely. It use to hurt my feelings that I would never fit with the crowd, but God showed me that I was meant to stand out and be different. Being different has inspired many of my friends to change the way they lived their lives.

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