When Truth Offends
At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. (John 6:66 NLT)
Truth divides. It confronts. It shows no favoritism. Truth is content to stand entirely alone – a pillar of strength.
Jesus spoke the truth – He is, in fact, “the way, the TRUTH, and the life.” But on this occasion, when He spoke of humanity’s need to “eat of His flesh, and drink of His blood,” the resistance was palpable.
Not just a few, but many people left Jesus that day never to return.
Jesus did ministry differently than many of us today. In a culture where we bend the truth to avoid offending others, we miss an important element of the Gospel – that people will not be free until they know (and embrace) the truth.
Jesus never ran after people who left Him. He loved them enough to let them leave.
In fact, against the backdrop of the historic accounts of the “multitudes and miracles” associated with Jesus’ ministry, we often forget that, before His death, Jesus was deserted by every disciple. All of them left.
But truth is sticky, and it has a way of staying with people even after they desert the truth-teller, tormenting them to deal with the unresolved issues of their lives.
When you are faced with the difficult task of telling someone the truth…and you know it may cost you the relationship…what will you do?
Telling the truth is NOT the same as telling how you feel. Your feelings are fickle, and you don’t have the “right” to tell people everything you think or feel about them. In fact, you have a responsibility to let love and grace “cover” those things.
At some point you may have the unpopular assignment to invade someone’s darkness with the blinding light of truth. They may not like it. They may not like you. But they must know the truth in order to be set free.
It is said, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Still the horse must be led.
It is not yours to apply the truth, but it may be yours to “speak the truth…in love.”
Father, give us grace and compassion, along with boldness and resolve to speak the truth as You lead us by Your Spirit.
And may Your truth set people free.
In Jesus’ name, amen.