Why are we afraid to speak the truth?
Recently I was talking to someone, and they were telling me about some of their issues concerning how they saw themselves. Initially I listened to their thoughts without responding. However, during the entire conversation, I kept feeling led to respond directly to their thoughts, and not just their feelings. Eventually I went ahead and told them that a lot of what they said is a lie from the devil, designed to ultimately lead them to harm. I also reminded them about Jesus’s sacrifice and how He died so that they could have life and life more abundantly.
As I thought about my words after the fact, I questioned was that the right thing to do. The word that came to me was what Jesus said to Peter,
And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Mark 8:31-33 https://my.bible.com/bible/100/MRK.8.31-33Mark 8: 31-33 NASB
After being reminded of this, I felt this was the right thing to do, especially for someone who knows the Lord. What also stuck with me, is why is it difficult to speak the truth plainly, even to those who know Jesus. Once again the same passage spoke, “you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s”. It’s hard to tell people the truth plainly because we will put man’s/our feelings/our fears of rejection/their feelings before God’s interest.
Now I don’t want this to come across like we should be the stereotypical “Bible Thumpers”. What Im saying is that we should speak God’s truth plainly, in love, as He opens the door. As Paul said,
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.1 Corinthians 13: 1-3 NASB
Doing this can be difficult, and relationships could be affected negatively by speaking His truth plainly. While that is true, let’s focus our hearts and minds on His interests, and not man’s. When we are obedient we open the door for Christ to move through us. Let us not be afraid of the outcome, but speak confidently and boldly for Jesus, even if we might lose something.
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.2 Timothy 1: 7 NASB
So let’s speak the truth of God plainly, and call out the devil’s lies directly, in love. If we really love like Jesus, we will speak plainly to those close to us, just like He did. Let’s tell them the truth.