Healthy Truth, Exercising Love

Christian Living, The Church

(By: Nick Kennicott)

truth-and-loveFood is one of the greatest gifts from God. I love food. I love to smell it, I love when it’s put together in a way that is visually beautiful, I love to cook it and prepare it and try new things with it. Think of all the colors and textures and tastes, and the wonderful creativity that God has inspired in the hearts of mankind to come up with new and different ways to use everything so that we can have an ever-changing variety of edible options.

One of the difficulties with food is that not everything that we want to eat is particularly healthy. Cheesecake and bacon double cheeseburgers may be delicious gifts from God, but you won’t be doing much for the Kingdom after a few days if that’s all you eat! God gives us food to teach us self-control just as much as He gives it to delight and sustain us. Oftentimes, (ok, let’s be honest, most of the time) the healthiest options aren’t always the most delicious. For some reason, eating 46 loaves of bread is not the same as eating raw cauliflower or a bag of kale chips (mainly because Kale Chips aren’t actually made for human consumption). If you’re like me, it takes work to consistently eat healthily. And every medical professional will tell you not only to eat healthily but to also have a regular routine of exercise. Because what gets you out of bed more quickly in the morning than tofu and sit-ups?

Several times throughout his letters, the Apostle Paul uses the human body as an illustration of what a local church should be, and every Christian should be concerned about keeping the body healthy. If a local church is going to persevere, a healthy diet and calculated exercise are necessary, and in Ephesians 4:15-16 Paul tells us what that should look like: “Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (Ephesians 4:15–16).

The healthy diet of a local church is truth

Paul isn’t just admonishing the church to tell the truth, but is addressing the importance of holding to the truth. Quite literally the text implies that we ought to be “truthing in love.” The truth of God’s Word must be held to in every local church that strives to be healthy, and the corollary is that everything unhealthy must be rejected. This is a corrective to the ecumenical spirit of only affirming the things agreeable to those who call themselves Christian. There are false teachers who are deceitful and crafty, and an open-ended spirit that invites anything and everyone to join hands without any standards is exactly what Paul writes to protect the church from. Without discernment and understanding of what the Bible actually teaches, and the fortitude to hold to it unflinchingly, the body will break down. In most instances, it won’t be obvious right away, but little-by-little the body will take on a new shape as it makes its way to the grave, and eventually, a mere glance at an old snapshot of what the body used to be will be evidence of an unhealthy diet.

A church’s diet is greatly assisted by the historic creeds and confessions of the church. One of the greatest benefits of confessionalism is being able to hold to something that has been meticulously written, worked through, studied, and proven to be biblical throughout the centuries. A church can claim to “believe the Bible” all day long, but the real question that needs to be asked is, “What do you believe about the Bible and what it teaches?” That’s where the true diet is found. Is it all sugar and fat, or is it healthy and nutritious?

The exercise of a local church is love

Many Christians seem to think we can say whatever we want in the way we want, as long as it’s true. But truthing isn’t entirely true apart from love; Our motives matter. We can puff our chests in pride and say, “I’m telling it how it is,” but truth and love are a unit that cannot be divided. In other words, we can eat a healthy diet, but if we aren’t exercising to use that diet in a way that strengthens the body, it’s not helpful. We need exercise, and the exercise of the local church is fulfilling the two greatest commandments (Matthew 22:37-40).

Truthing in love means we are humble in all we proclaim, acknowledging our own fallibility and susceptibility to mistakes and errors. “Sometimes the truth hurts” isn’t always a biblical concept in how it’s applied. Solomon reminds us in Proverbs 18:21 that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Undoubtedly, our words hold tremendous power and we have a great need to be instructed to “let no corrupting talk come out of [our] mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29). The truth is powerful enough on its own that it does not need an unloving delivery to strengthen it.

The Spirit of God will strengthen and unify any church body that is dieting on truth and exercising in love, and they will grow up in every way in Christ so that the gates of Hell will not prevail against them. Trim the fat by dieting and exercising well. The Lord will bless the obedience of His Church, preparing us for that great feast with the Son.

The Parable of a Man and a Bride

Christian Living, The Church
(By: Nick Kennicott)
Cat-Reception-CakeToppers-Traditional-tThere was a man who had a growing interest in a young lady, so he patiently, slowly, prayerfully, but excitedly learned all that he could about her. He would visit with her every Sunday, and eventually was even visiting her in the middle of the week for an hour or two. As the weeks went on, he was meeting more and more of her family and began to sense that he was fitting in quite well with all of them. Before he knew it, he was doing everything he could with the young lady and her family, and he couldn’t imagine doing the rest of his life without her. So, he made a covenant with the young lady and they were married.

At first, the marriage was beautiful. The man was always serving his bride, doing everything he could to make sure she was taken care of. He was attentive to her needs, he was listening for ways he could be a blessing, he was even feeling more and more comfortable with finding ways to lead her and take initiative to see that she was doing new, creative, and different things to fulfill all the goals they talked about fulfilling when they first got married.

After a while, the newness wore off. He didn’t always agree with decisions she was making and he was beginning to see that her family wasn’t as perfect as he once thought them to be. In time, she just wasn’t the same beautiful lady that he remembered marrying several years ago. She hadn’t really changed all that much, but his perception and commitment did. First, it was the extra events that they had been engaged in throughout the week that he started setting aside. His bride remained committed to the same routine they had set out on before, but he was losing interest. Her family would lovingly and gently ask him if everything was alright, and if there was any reason why he seemed to be pulling away from his bride; it seemed so unlike him after being so faithful to her in so many ways over the years. Eventually, he was even finding more and more reasons to skip the regular Sunday time together that they kept up from day one.

Soon, the man was setting his eyes on another young lady. In many ways, she looked a lot like his bride did when they first met. This girl was welcoming, encouraging, and eager for him to meet her family. So, over time he spent fewer and fewer Sundays with his bride, and more and more with the new girl. Even when his bride suspected something else was going on, he regularly retorted that he’s just busy with life. But eventually he was spending all of his time with the new girl; It looked a lot like it did when he was first showing interest in his bride. Eventually, he convinced himself to break it off with his bride. This new relationship would be different. The problems he had before would go away because she’s a lot more of what he was looking for in the first place. Her family is better—less judgmental and a lot more loving—and he’s sure to tell everyone that he doesn’t regret, and is even thankful for the time he spent with his bride, but she just wasn’t helping him become what he wanted to become anymore. It was time to move on.

Now that he had found a new girl and entered into a covenant with her, it was all going to be so much better. But it wasn’t. A few years down the road, the newness wore off…

A Review of Blind Spots by Collin Hansen

Book Reviews, Books, Christian Living

When it comes to blind spots in the Christian life, we have two options: Admit we have them, or lie. I’ve never held a theological or philosophical position assuming it was wrong. Who does that? But it’s either the height of arrogance or ignorance to think it’s not possible that I have some wrong ideas, hold certain ideas in imbalance, or haven’t adequately considered viable alternatives. Challenging me to think clearly and critically about my own positions, I was helped tremendously by Collin Hansen‘s latest book entitled Blind Spots: Becoming a Courageous, Compassionate, and Commissioned Church (Hansen is the Editorial Director for The Gospel Coalition).

In my own understanding and interacting with other Christians outside my tradition and theological framework, I will be the first to admit that I haven’t always done a great job. I could have easily been the one writing Hansen’s words: “With my highly attuned gift for discerning others’ motives, it didn’t take long for me to see what’s wrong with everyone else. Then I blamed them for not seeing the wisdom in my arguments… Because I’d understood my experience as normative for everyone, I couldn’t see how God blessed other Christians with different stories and strengths.”

Certainly, there are specific, unalterable truths that should not be tampered with, downplayed, or discarded. God has revealed in His Word, “Those things which are necessary to be known, believed and observed for salvation” and those things “are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of ordinary means, may attain to a sufficient understanding of them” (1.7 of the 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689). I have long been an advocate of Dr. Albert Mohler’s three-tiered Theological Triage and find it to be a helpful matrix in which to frame each Christian relationship. But I’m thankful that Hansen presses the conversation even further. He writes, “This book is about seeing our differences as opportunity. God created us in splendid diversity of thought, experience, and personality. And when these differences cohere around the gospel of Jesus Christ, they work together to challenge, comfort, and compel a needy world with the only love that will never fail or fade.”

Focusing on the gospel as the unifying, unalterable center of relationships and conversations, Hansen points out that all Christians have further, specific emphases that we assume to be more important than others, and he places them into three distinct categories. We will identify closely with either compassionate Christians, courageous Christians, or commissioned Christians. In each category, Hansen outlines the distinctives that are commendable and worthy of emulating, and suggests temptations that should be guarded against lest our blind spots remain undiscovered and crippling to our Kingdom efforts. It’s most likely that every Christian will resonate on some level with each category, because they all contain biblical elements, however the honest reader will find himself in a specific category more than the others.

Compassionate Christians

The compassionate Christians are those who see the hurting, broken world around them and have a longing to relieve suffering and poverty. Hansen describes the compassionate Christians: “You clothe the homeless, feed the hungry, nurse the sick. You write the letters, shame the offenders, protest the powers.” Compassionate Christians are quick to see the abundance of biblical exhortations about the disenfranchised “little people” of society and to call the church to action.

Hansen commends the compassionate Christians for their focus on an area of biblical truth and action that should always be on the church’s radar, but also warns, “With compassion comes blame. In a broken world that lacks simple solutions and people who care, it can become all too easy to blame those who aren’t mending our society. Compassion abounds for humanity, just not for humans.” Hansen wisely warns compassionate Christians to not emphasize giving at the expense of the gospel itself. It’s important to remember that our “compassion won’t always be appreciated or even received by a world that rejects the source of our compassion.”

Courageous Christians

The courageous Christians are those who take stands on truth, and oftentimes on specific issues of importance (or even non-importance). The courageous Christians are those who will make precise arguments for specific positions, and make appeals to others to not waiver from what they understand to be true. These are Christians like Martin Luther and the reformers, willing to stand, fight, and die for the things that matter. “Courage is necessary for us to endure in the faith.”

Hansen self-identified in this category, and it’s most likely that the majority of reformed Christians will. But Hansen is wise to offer some cautions here as well. The courageous Christians can sometimes turn important issues into single issues, demanding that other people fall in line behind a specific agenda or else they will be cast as an enemy and considered suspect in the future. Courageous Christians can easily become heresy hunters, and are willing to compromise the fundamental exhortation to love because of a single issue. While courage is important and necessary in the face of sin, false teaching, and evil attempts to thwart the work of God, it’s vital to be reminded that “courage is not measured by how many people you can offend.”

Commissioned Christians

Commissioned Christians are those who emphasize mission with an eye toward bringing as many into the church and God’s Kingdom as possible. “You might be a commissioned Christian if you worry that younger generations will slip away or never bother to show up unless churches adapt to changing times. You’re not exactly conservative or liberal in theological terms. You probably trust in the authority of Scripture and hold to conservative views on issues such as the exclusivity of Christ; otherwise why bother with evangelism? But you don’t fit in with Christians who actually enjoy debating theology or arguing over whether ministry practices conform to Scripture. You want to get on with the serious, urgent work of changing lives with the power of the gospel.”

Commissioned Christians seek to push the church to the highways and hedges that the gospel would be proclaimed far and wide. Surely, a continued focus on the great commission is important and necessary. However, Hansen warns, “in their search for cultural relevance,” commissioned Christians “can slide into syncretism. And their eagerness to expand the tent can culminate in theological compromise. Sometimes these churches don’t merely resemble the mall with their expansive parking lots and food courts; they also communicate with ‘practical’ and ‘relevant’ messages that Christianity is an à la carte faith that supplements our private pursuit of peace, wealth, and status.”

A Call to Unity and Growth

Hansen’s book challenges readers to identify personal tendencies to over-emphasize certain areas of focus at the expense of others. We never outgrow our need to find balance in the Christian life, and we can more readily do so when we are more determined to learn from other believers instead of instantly seeking to find ways to differ from them. Certainly, there will be significant differences from one Christian to another, however they need not always be divisive or viewed with negativity and skepticism. Our goal should be “the kind of biblical fulness that . . . expects opposition from the world and seeks unity among believers for the sake of the world.”

I highly recommend Hansen’s book to those who are willing to ask questions of their own heart and consider whether or not their blind spots have kept them from learning from other Christians who have a lot to offer.

If you want more before picking up the book, read 20 Truths From Blind Spots.

(By: Nick Kennicott)

The Rhino Room | Hospitality

Christian Living, Rhino Room

Rhino Room

Curious about the Rhino Room? Read our introduction here.

How Can Christians be Intentional About Hospitality?

Nicolas Alford (Pastor, Grace Baptist Church of Taylors, South Carolina)

Christian intentionality about hospitality is not complicated, we’re just complacent.

Invite people into your home on Sunday afternoon for a meal. No one cares if you dusted. Talk to people at church. If they’re visiting, be welcoming and helpful. When someone invites you into their home, make every reasonable effort to accept. Incorporate fellow Christians into your daily life. Build real relationships with unbelievers so that they know they are actual people to you, not mere evangelism projects.

This is not rocket science, and yet Peter has to tell us to do it without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9). Therefore, if we aren’t showing hospitality we are probably not lacking for opportunity or knowledge, we are probably lacking in motivation. The immediately preceding verse in 1 Peter tells us to keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Hospitality is really just living out that love.

Samuel Barber (Pastoral Assistant, Ephesus Church of Rincon, Georgia)

My wife and I learned an important lesson about hospitality the summer that we spent a month in Beijing, China. We learned that hospitality is mostly an attitude of the heart (i.e. travel in Beijing is hectic, and it takes a long time to get anywhere; it’s exhausting. So, instead of asking others come to us, we went to them. We showed them hospitality, even though they never came to our home).

The Greek word translated “hospitable” carries the notion of having a love for strangers. So, I would say that hospitality is engaging others, so they feel loved, safe, secure, welcome, and cared for. Christians can be intentional about hospitality by making every effort in every circumstance, at home and abroad, to live for the good of others, rather than their own. This will look different in different circumstances, but learning selflessness is an essential first step toward hospitality.

Wayne Brandow (Pastor, Bible Baptist Church of Galway, New York)

If we would be hospitable, we must know what it entails. The underlying Greek word in the NT for “hospitality” is φιλοξενία, which means, “love of strangers.” Thus, to be hospitable in the biblical sense is to make a stranger feel at home.

The initial social reserve common in new encounters with others is a protective device. We seldom feel at ease with strangers until we sense that they are genuine and safe. A salesmen is friendly, but he has an agenda. When we meet someone new and they are showing interest in us, it is natural to wonder why. If a person senses that you are interested in them so that you might claim another win in your soul-winning tally, they will see your apparent “hospitality” as disingenuous. We just need to truly love people for who they are. The rest will take care of itself.

Matt Foreman (Pastor, Faith Reformed Baptist Church of Media, Pennsylvania)

Let’s be clear on our definition – I believe that the Biblical term ‘hospitality’ (philoxenos) is not just an action, but an attitude of the heart. It’s not just about ‘showing hospitality’ but ‘being hospitable’ — being an open person, an approachable person, a person who shows a warmth to receive others based on real interest and love. It is, in fact, one of two distinct characteristics (being hospitable and able to teach) required for pastors (1 Tim.3:2). Real discipleship happens by teaching with your life. So hospitality is to be a regular part of the Christian life (see Rom. 12:13, 1 Pet. 4:7-9, Heb. 13:2, Luke 14:12-14).

To be intentional, Christians need to first cultivate a theological conviction about hospitality (Lev.19:33-34, Exod. 23:9, Rom.15:9) as part of the imaging of God. Conviction will fuel your purposefulness to develop and implement a plan!

Marc Grimaldi (Pastor, Grace Reformed Baptist Church of Merrick, New York)

While the idea of “hospitality” is implied all throughout Scripture, the actual word is only used four times in the New Testament, and two of the times, it’s listed as one of the qualifications for being an overseer (Tit. 1:8; 1 Tim. 3:2). That said, the other two times (1 Pet. 4:9; Rom. 12:13), along with the general implications of Scripture as a whole, clearly affirm that the duty belongs to all Christians.

I emphasize the pastoral aspect of hospitality, because this qualification further asserts that pastors are to be more than “living in the study” preachers. Hospitality presumes a very personal aspect to ministry, which gets to know people and their needs, with the intent of generously serving them.

Since Christ Himself was the most hospitable person to ever walk the earth, we can presume that hospitality doesn’t necessarily have to be exercised within one’s own home.  Location isn’t the issue. Generous, God-glorifying service is. When Jesus washed His disciple’s feet, He left us with a general template for hospitality.

Nicholas Kennicott (Pastor, Ephesus Church of Rincon, Georgia)

Hospitality is an under-emphasized aspects of Christian life in America. Having traveled to many areas of the world, it seems to me that other cultures often understand hospitality better than those in a western context, however it’s always something that must be undertaken intentionally with love for one’s neighbor so that we can “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:9).

Being hospitable is not just about opening one’s home, but also one’s life. It’s a welcoming disposition toward others with an intentional pursuit of building them up. Christians should ask God to help them overcome their fears of interacting with new people, and be willing to take the risk of letting others into their life and home. We should be able to look to pastors for an example of good hospitality since God requires it of them (1 Timothy 3:2).

Chris Marley (Pastor, Miller Valley Baptist Church of Miller Valley, Arizona)

I’m sad to say that I’ve never heard this question asked before, but it’s a crucial one. It’s really a sub-question to, “how do I love the brethren?” To a certain degree, the answer is asking the question. Be intentional. Seek out the person with whom you have the least in common and invite them over for dinner, lunch, or a cup of coffee. It can even be the little actions of just engaging in conversation for a time after service that displays Christian love. Practice it with the saints and expand to unbelievers. If you do it poorly, do it anyway, and you’ll improve. We know that “Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.” Hospitality is one of the ways we do that. I would also advise people to ask their pastor how he does hospitality, because it’s a major part of our lives and the personality of the church.

Osinachi Nwoko (Sovereign Grace Bible Church of Lagos, Nigeria)

The word hospitality means to be kind/warm and welcoming/receptive to guest and strangers. As a people who are recipients of the tender mercies amazing grace of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ, we no doubt must have hearts disposed to being hospitable. And the sphere of our hospitality is not to be limited to those in the household of faith (our brothers and sisters in Christ), but to all men (Galatians 6:9-10).

Stating these things though, doesn’t remove the obvious fact that many believers (myself inclusive) fail woefully in showing hospitality even to those we call brethren. The Apostle Paul’s encouraging words to the Galatians serves to stir us to be intentional about being hospitable. He says we should not grow weary in well doing or doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not faint. We can–and indeed should be–encouraged by the fact that God will reward all good deeds done in His name.

By putting in remembrance what God in Christ did to reconcile us aliens to Himself, the example of Christ’s life while in the flesh as well as those of the disciples and saints recorded in Scripture, the blessings attached to being hospitable/doing good and how showing hospitality helps our Gospel witness, Christians are greatly encouraged to be intentional about showing hospitality.

Douglas Van Dorn (Pastor, Reformed Baptist Church of Northern Colorado)

Hospitality is the simple idea of graciously receiving guests or strangers—usually in your home. Our church is in a relatively cold climate and our people drive for 50 miles in any direction to get to church. This has made hospitality a very difficult fruit to practice. Intentionality, forethought, and planning are essential in this kind of context, otherwise it happens too rarely. Two ideas are to have the deacons in the church set up events, asking that they be in various homes within the church. The other is to continually teach the people the commands and benefits of hospitality. If a desired outcome (discipleship, kindness, relationships, friendships) is not understood, then the need won’t be large enough to overcome the cultural disadvantages. At the end of the day, it simply has to be a priority, otherwise it won’t happen. We just aren’t living in 1st century Palestine any longer.

Telling It How It Is Without “Telling It How It Is”

Christian Living, The Gospel

Megaphone

If I were to try and make a list, I couldn’t possibly recall all the conversations I’ve had with others that I wish I could take back. Unloving comments to cause a sting. Hurtful jokes to get a laugh. Biting sarcasm to prove a point. Harsh criticisms to show superiority. And as I think back on some of these instances, I remember many times when I felt completely justified in my words because I was simply “telling it how it is” – I spoke the truth, but I did so without reminding myself of Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 4:15: “speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” How frequently do we tell it how it is by “telling it how it is?” In other words, how often do we speak the truth without love?

When attempting to correct others who have used harsh words, or perhaps in our own efforts to rationalize, it is common to hear the phrase “I’m just telling it how it is” or “it’s the truth isn’t it?” But it’s fully possible to say something that is true, in a sinful and hurtful manner. “Sometimes the truth hurts” isn’t necessarily a biblical concept. In fact, it’s the truth that sets us free (John 8:32). Solomon reminds us in Proverbs 18:21 that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18). Death and life, sword thrusts and healing. Undoubtedly, our words hold tremendous power and we have a great need to be instructed to “let no corrupting talk come out of [our] mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29). So how shall we speak the truth in love? How can we tell it how it is without “telling it how it is”?

1. Discern Your Motives
What fuels your desire to speak the truth into a person’s life?

It is possible to speak the same words with a desire to simply prove your rightness and ignite your pride as opposed to seeing a potential harm in allowing another person to walk in falsehood at that specific point in time. In other words, is your concern for yourself, or for the other person? Your demeanor and approach will prove which is true to the one who receives your comments.

2. Remember the Power of Words
James reminds us of the incredible power of the words we use: “If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things” (James 3:3-5). James continues by comparing the tongue to a fire, setting an entire forest ablaze, reminding us that “no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). What a deadly weapon we can wield! Truly, as Jay Adams remarks, “Truth without love becomes a wicked weapon.”[1] I try to remind myself that sticks and stones can only break bones, but words have the ability to kill.

3. How Am I Going to Say it?
We should always ask ourselves this question before we let loose with what we perceive to be true. A big part of speaking the truth in love is in how we say it. An arrogant, down-looking approach will never receive the same response as the side-by-side at the foot of the cross approach. It’s important that we take the time to figure out how our words will be perceived by others, knowing that we are all stained by falsehood and sin. I can tell another person that they are wrong and affirm that I am right, or I can explain to them why their words, actions, or beliefs are not consistent with the Scriptures, and remind them that Jesus is our measuring rod.

4. Is it Necessary?
I must question whether or not what I’m going to say is kind and/or even necessary. It is possible to speak too quickly, and too often – perhaps we need, from time-to-time, to gather more information prior to approaching another person about an issue of concern. James reminds us to “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19). Asking questions of clarification prior to offering personal commentary will more times than not change ones perception of how an issue should be addressed. My rule of thumb is to be able to state a person’s position back to them in a way that they agree with prior to offering what I see as the truth in the situation.

5. Remind Them of the Gospel
Most importantly, we must always remember that the essence of speaking the truth in love is doing so with the gospel at hand. C.J. Mahaney reminds us, “Never correct without reminding the individual, at some point, of the gospel. Any conversation including correction must also include the gospel, because biblical correction is incomplete apart from the gospel.”[2] Ken Sande recounts his experience in this area as well: “The Lord is graciously working to teach me a better way to approach others about their failures. Instead of coming at them with the law, I am learning to bring them the gospel. In other words, rather than dwelling on what people should do or have failed to do, I am learning to focus primarily on what God has done and is doing for them through Christ.”[3] Correction with the truth is worthless without the gospel – it offers no foundational reason why one should abide by the truth, and offers no hope for the one who has walked outside of truth. The most loving way to address another person is with the gospel. And not just unbelievers – Christians need a daily reminder of the gospel. So remind them of Jesus. And don’t forget to remind yourself.

Speaking the truth is crucial in this life – it is so often under-valued and under-emphasized. Nevertheless, when our heart’s desire is to “tell it how it is” without considering how to do so in love, we do damage to the very truth we are seeking to communicate. Let us strive to tell it how it is with the same heart as David: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).


[1] Jay Adams, Shepherding God’s Flock (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975), 386.

[2] C.J. Mahaney, Humility: True Greatness (Sisters: Multnomah, 2005), 119.

[3] Ken Sande, The Peace Maker (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004), 163.

(By: Nick Kennicott)