Love Means Telling the Truth
2 Corinthians 7:8-13
I recently asked a fellow believer “Are you speaking truth into their life?” to which she promptly responded NO. Pastor Ray Pritchard recently sent this note which seemed so applicable so I’m posting portions of it now. Here’s what he has to say. The only lasting solution for spiritual problems in the body of Christ is to confront them head on with the truth. But that truth can be painful to hear. And it may cause one of two things to happen.
First, there may be sorrow that leads to repentance and salvation. “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret” (v. 10).
Eventually the light dawns, and seeing what I fool I really am, I confess my sin to God, make things right, and with God’s help change my life. What is all that? It is the end result of truth-telling.
Second, there may be sorrow but no real change. I may not respond well to the truth someone tells me. That’s what Paul means when he says “worldly sorrow brings death” (v. 10). What are the signs of worldly sorrow?
Dejection: “I’m sorry I got caught.”
Defensiveness: “It wasn’t my fault.”
Self-justification: “You just don’t understand the situation.”
Anger: “Get off my back.”
Unkind words: “Who are you to be judging me?”
Projection: “You’re not so perfect yourself.”
Many Christians become quite adept at sidestepping the truth. Some of us make it a lifelong habit. That’s what the sorrow of the world is. It’s sidestepping the truth to avoid dealing with reality. It’s using every defense mechanism in the book so we don’t have to change the way we live.
But godly sorrow always produces a radical change. Check out verse 11:
|See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.|
Here are seven marks of godly sorrow:
First, we are quick to make things right.
Second, we are anxious to clear our record of wrongdoing.
Third, we are upset that our lives should contain such compromise.
Fourth, we are alarmed over our sin.
Fifth, we long to be restored to spiritual wholeness.
Sixth, we are concerned for the preservation of the body of Christ.
Seventh, we are ready to do whatever is necessary to make things right.
May God grant that the truth spoken in love and received in love might heal our hearts, lead us to repentance, free us from bitterness, and unite the body of Christ.
Reference Citation: Pastor Ray Pritchard, Keep Believing Ministries, Aug 19, 2011.