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Ephesians 4:15

Speaking the Truth

In a Moody Monthly article entitled, “To Be Perfectly Honest,” Calvin Miller recalls a woman in his former church who became angry because he wouldn’t let her son sing more solos in church. She jotted down in a notebook every instance in her contact with Miller in which he did things “that were not in the spirit of Christ.” Several months later she showed him all he had done that was offensive to her. Miller says, “What amazed me was that her list was mostly true. She didn’t say anything that was untrue, but what she said was unkind.”

Speaking the truth without love can serve the cause of evil, whether preaching or teaching God’s Word, rebuking a believer, or disciplining our children. Truth can be devastating. When clothed in love, however, it eliminates error, builds trust, and promotes the good of others. Calvin Miller states, “Malicious truth gloats like a conqueror. Loving truth mourns that it must confront and show a brother his error. Malicious truth struts at its power. Loving truth weeps to find that the correction it inspires may for a while cause great pain. Malicious truth cries ‘Checkmate, you are beaten!’ Loving truth whispers, ‘I correct you with the same pain you feel. But when the pain is over, we shall rejoice that honesty and love have been served.’”

Calvin Miller in Moody Monthly

Take the Trouble

An agnostic scientist once asked author Dorothy Sayers to write a letter to his scientific organization setting forth her reasons for believing in the Christian faith. The letter he received back was not at all what the scientist had expected. It read:

“Why do you want a letter from me? Why don’t you take the trouble to find out for yourselves what Christianity is? You take time to learn technical terms about electricity. Why don’t you do as much for theology? Why do you accept mildewed old heresies as the language of the church, when any handbook of church history will tell you where they came from? Why do you balk at the doctrine of the Trinity—God, the Three in One—yet meekly acquiesce when Einstein tells you that E=MC2? I admit you can practice Christianity without knowing much theology, just as you can drive a car without knowing much about internal combustion. But when something breaks down in the car, you humbly go to the man who understands the works; if something goes wrong with religion, you merely throw the works away and tell the theologian he is a liar. Why do you want a letter from me? You will never bother to check on it or find out whether I’m giving you personal opinions or Christian doctrines. Go away and do some work on your own and let me get on with mine.”

From God Still Speaks in the Space Age, quoted in Connections, a publication of Search Ministries, Vol. 1, no. 6, June 1988, pp. 19-20.)

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