Saturday, June 9

Love and truth

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 10-12, Psalm 94, Ephesians 5

Ephesians 5:5-7 For know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  6 Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things.  7 Therefore do not become their partners.

Observation

Paul begins this chapter telling us to be imitators of God as dearly loved children, and walk in love as Christ loved us.  Live a life of love for God and others. (v. 1-2)

Then he immediately names sins to avoid: sexual immorality, impurity, greed, obscene and foolish talking, crude joking. (v. 3-4) These behaviors are not “proper or suitable for saints.”  They may happen all around us but we don’t participate (v. 11) in them or partner (v. 7) with them.  

Finally, he warns that those who live this way are not part of God’s kingdom, and that God’s wrath is coming on them because of these things.  

Live in love—but don’t be deceived about right and wrong.  

Application

Love and truth are not mutually exclusive.  We must love people, but that doesn’t mean we approve of what they do, or that we blindly join them.  Love isn’t blind, or soft, or “everything is ok”.  Love does what is best for others, and that implies that some things are good and some are bad.  I talk with many Christians who misunderstand love as uncritical approval.  They think that love has no judgment, no discernment, and universally accepts and approves everyone and everything.  That’s not love; that’s just conflict avoidance.  

So let’s love people.  And let’s clearly stand for what is right.  Let’s not pretend that sin is ok, that wrong is all right, that all behaviors are equally good and acceptable.  Love is tough—it does what is best for others in spite of their sin; it never glosses over evil.  

Let’s “speak the truth in love” (4:15) and let’s stand for and live the truth in love.  

Prayer: Lord, You are love.  And You are the truth!  Help us to always hold both together, and never sacrifice one for the other.