Love Without Truth Isn’t Loving at All

Love WIthout Truth-Chispa Magazine

Let me paint a picture for you. You’re walking on a road and you see a friend driving. They pull over for some small talk, a quick catch-up, and then they’re on their way. Now, you know that the road is closed ahead; the bridge has collapsed and they will head right into a ravine if they continue on that path. But you let them drive ahead, even though the road damage is poorly marked and they might miss the signs. You could’ve been the sign but you didn’t want to stop them from enjoying their drive.

Does that sound like love to you? Willingly letting someone drive right off a bridge because you didn’t want to tell them no or warn them of where that road will lead? That’s what we do every day when we take the sting out of the truth for the sake of love.

We all have those people in our lives that we think of when we think of speaking truth in love. You know who came to mind when you read the above scenario. Now if you believe and have put your faith in Christ, let me give you a big heads-up.

Jesus called sin, sin, and still pursued those sinners. Now, this sin manifests itself in our lives in many different ways. For some, it looks like hatred and anger. For others, it looks like gossip, slander. For another group, it’s homosexuality, pornography, or drunkenness. For the especially wicked, it’s any combination of those. I am of the last group. As Christians, we sometimes bear with one of those sin groups better than we do others. Sometimes, we outright enjoy sins and yet condone them in others. And while we are quick to criticize people who live certain lifestyles, we are even more quick to brush off other sin struggles and lifestyles.

The grace that we need to cover our sexual immorality is the same grace that we need to cover our gossiping. The ground is level at the cross, and we all stand condemned. In the Gospel of John, he tells us, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:17-18 NIV) There we have it. It is literally spelled out for us. We all stood condemned. When Jesus walked this Earth, those around Him were already condemned. So He didn’t have to do any of that for them. He was completely free to speak truth with love.

And because we accepted His gift, and only because of His blood washing away our sin, we no longer stand condemned. Therefore, we are completely free to speak the truth with love, just as Jesus did. And in the end, love without truth isn’t loving. And truth without love will fall on deaf ears. It’s a fine line to walk in a society where love means full acceptance of a person as a whole. Love has been redefined as total compliance to someone’s desires, flaws, shortcomings, etc. To be loved, we surround ourselves with only the people who will not challenge us to change or point out the wrong road we might be headed down.

If God is love (1 John 4:8), let’s look at the character of God. Faithful from the start, loving justice and mercy. It was His plan from the start to give us Jesus, His perfect and Holy Son. And, the Apostle Paul tells us to imitate Jesus in every way. Well what did Jesus do? He healed, He broke bread, He came for the sick, and wasn’t afraid to call them sick (Mark 2:13-17). He declared people righteous by their faith. And, He told those who want to follow Him to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him (Luke 9:23).

We cheapen the cross when we accept and condone sin. Rosaria Butterfield said it best when she said, “…the cross never makes itself an ally with the sin it must crush, because Christ took our sin upon himself and paid the ransom for its dreadful cost?” Don’t you see? Sin and Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross cannot endure each other. One will pass away when the other is declared the winner. They simply cannot coexist.

So, it is not loving to let that friend drive down a road that leads to destruction. It is not loving to call something that is clearly defined as sinful, acceptable. It is loving to let them know that this will not go well for them if they choose to pursue it. Let love be met with truth, both in their fullness. Don’t sacrifice love for truth or truth for love. And certainly don’t sugar coat the truth or lessen the love. The world needs us to be both, just as Jesus was.

Choose to be eternally minded, because it is not loving to condone a lifestyle that God is clear is not consistent with His design. Choose to love others well, and tell them the truth. That is precisely what Jesus would do.

Photo by Jon Tyson

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Ashley Trammell

Ashley Trammell

Chispa Magazine writer Ashley Trammell is a wife and a stay-at-home mom to her three kiddos. She has a deep love for the written word and the Word of God. Through that love, she brings her fire and passion to Chispa, that the women who dive in together would be more like Christ in every way. She grew up in the mid-west, but most recently has been on mission in Texas and Georgia. Being in love with reading inspired Ashley to study English Literature at the University of Central Oklahoma. An avid reader, a coffee connoisseur, a football enthusiast, and a sushi devotee: these are just a few of Ashley's favorite things. Plus, she recently founded Two Fourteen Paperie Two Fourteen Paperie, which provides custom invitations and greeting cards to all. 214, the area code for Dallas, Texas. Where she met and married her husband, where her three babies were born, and where Jesus met her and showed her He saves by grace through faith. 214, their new home address in Georgia. A little over a year ago, her little family moved from Texas to Georgia. It’s been a sweet adventure for the five of them, and The Father has been faithful and kind to grow their trust of Him there. 214 for her favorite bible verse, Colossians 2:14, which says, “He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” Jesus is her why, and also her how. Ashley is also a survivor of sexual assault and has a deep desire to see God bring beauty from the ashes. He is in the redemption business, and through His truth and grace, through our Redeemer, we can have healing.
Ashley Trammell

Latest posts by Ashley Trammell (see all)

Ashley Trammell

Chispa Magazine writer Ashley Trammell is a wife and a stay-at-home mom to her three kiddos. She has a deep love for the written word and the Word of God. Through that love, she brings her fire and passion to Chispa, that the women who dive in together would be more like Christ in every way. She grew up in the mid-west, but most recently has been on mission in Texas and Georgia. Being in love with reading inspired Ashley to study English Literature at the University of Central Oklahoma. An avid reader, a coffee connoisseur, a football enthusiast, and a sushi devotee: these are just a few of Ashley's favorite things. Plus, she recently founded Two Fourteen Paperie Two Fourteen Paperie, which provides custom invitations and greeting cards to all. 214, the area code for Dallas, Texas. Where she met and married her husband, where her three babies were born, and where Jesus met her and showed her He saves by grace through faith. 214, their new home address in Georgia. A little over a year ago, her little family moved from Texas to Georgia. It’s been a sweet adventure for the five of them, and The Father has been faithful and kind to grow their trust of Him there. 214 for her favorite bible verse, Colossians 2:14, which says, “He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” Jesus is her why, and also her how. Ashley is also a survivor of sexual assault and has a deep desire to see God bring beauty from the ashes. He is in the redemption business, and through His truth and grace, through our Redeemer, we can have healing.