It was during my quiet time that I came across this verse in the Bible.
Proverbs 27:6 says:
“The wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.”
The Bible has some profound wisdom, far beyond any human invention, imbuing us and equipping us for the days to come.
So today we talk about Love, a love that rejoices in the Truth.
It is amazing how God puts a delicate balance in everything. Love does cover a multitude of sins, but at the same time, it rejoices in the Truth.
3rd John 4 says;
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth.”
Therefore, the truth brings joy.
Now, do your friends tell you the truth? Not the things that you want to hear, but those things that are outrightly THE TRUTH BUT ARE BITTER TO SWALLOW.
Love doesn’t rejoice when someone does something wrong.
Love doesn’t go behind their backs, talking about them, about how a failure and a disgrace they are.
Love does exactly what Abigail did. She covered Nabal’s stupidity to King David, but still talked to him about it in the morning – that his actions were uncalled for.
Unfortunately, we don’t tell our friends that they are living in sin; we condone it, probably for fear of losing them.
We don’t tell our spouses of their shortcomings; instead we gossip them with our friends.
Or worse, we tell them in the crudest way. We out talk each other, shouting or yelling at them, in hopes for an absolute change in them.
Love rejoices in victories, love rejoices when the truth is spoken.
Christ Himself came to show us the truth, the way the life, and He is all that. He is the truth, and there’s no joy greater than knowing that there’s someone who has your back.
Do people like to follow his way…? Naahhhh…
Do we like to be told that we are living in sin?
Do we like our shortcomings being pointed out?
Do we like to be told that we are far from being perfect?
Again… Nooo.. We don’t like to be told the truth.
I used to think my hubby was mean every time he would say, “Bae, that’s wrong”, and he used to think am demeaning him every time I pointed out a fault.
He still used to use the word Bae and I could still get offended. (I really think I was some piece of work!).
Probably I hadn’t leant how to talk to him, getting angry was the quickest way to get something done. Still that was so selfish of me.
Nowadays, I don’t take it offensively. I listen, and apologize for offending him, and vice versa, but it has taken the Lord to work the attitude in us.
I had to change before anything else.
Who tells you the truth?
Do you have a friend who tells you the truth? Do you have people that you are accountable to and make you swallow the bitter pill even when you don’t feel like it?
Then that is your true friend. A sincere friend cannot see you going wrong and let you walk that path.
He/ She will be upfront with you.
Tell you that the path you are walking on is winding and steep, and soon you will fall.
They cannot sit still and watch you fall from grace and put up with it. They will graciously walk with you, till you can stand.
But, you should be willing to be corrected to grow.
Now, when corrected, do you take it with a glad heart, or are you selfish and get easily agitated and offended?
When people are talking to you about your mistakes, do they feel like they are touching a live wire?
Are you as brittle as the egg shells and can never bounce back once told the truth?
If so, ask the Lord to change you, for He can, but first, decide that you want to be better.
He can give you a softer heart, and you should be willing to be pummeled by Him. He can make your heart receptive to a correction.
He can teach you not to get easily offended, but you have to deliberately decide that you need to grow and for that to happen, decide to take corrections for your growth.
Now, to those correcting others, do you correct gently or do you gossip other people’s offenses?
That too needs to change. Gossip is pure poison.
The Bible says, if I can paraphrase it, if a brother offends you, talk to him, if you can’t, call a third witness and sort out the matter.
Gossip will only create a rift between the two of you. Gossip entertains lies, and we all know who the father of all lies is.
Don’t gossip your husband with your friends, don’t correct your wife before your friends, family or anyone for that matter!
Wait until you are in your confines, then talk with each other.
How about, covering each other, praying for each other, changing your attitude towards your marriage and letting God first. Isn’t that a better option?
If things are way out of line, engage a couple who are in marriage. Not anyone, not everyone. Again not everyone. Engage them that have walked before you, and in those shoes and come out victorious.
And by a couple, I don’t mean that you separate them.
Suddenly the man i.e. the husband of the other lady is the one counselling and praying for you (as a woman). Trust me, that is out rightly wrong, I won’t sugar coat it!
If you are a lady, talk to the lady in that house. If you are a man, let the man counsel you.
Not the opposite sex! The soul is the one that accepts Christ.
The body needs discipline! Crucifying your body daily!
Even in the New Testament, younger women were to be taught by older women on matters family!
It doesn’t say that a lady was to be counseled by a man whom she singularly identified or the ladies to be taught by men whom they have handpicked! No!
It’s for your own good. The devil doesn’t care how much fire you spit out as a Christian.
He doesn’t care how many people you have counseled, or how respected a man of God he is. He will exploit any small loophole you give him. So seal those loopholes and do things the right way.
Lady, get a lady to walk with you.
Mr, get a fellow man to walk with.
Let us carry ourselves with discipline and decorum!
The devil is not a respecter of persons! He brought might men to their feet, David, Solomon, Samson, so who are you sister to go around opening a can of worms in the name of being counseled by a married man?
If you are a brother, what makes you think that you are too saved to fall? So to avoid those loopholes, confide in a fellow man.
If you are a man, and need to “counsel” a sister, bring in your wife, let your wife be there, and vice versa.
Trust me, a fall doesn’t just happen.
It’s a slow steady paced step by step walk.
Read the word my sister! Read the word Mr!
Titus 2:3-5 says:
“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.”
“Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
Need I say more?
You need to get to a point whereby when rebuked in love, you can take it, instead of saying that you are being judged, or your spouse is mean.
How else will you grow?
Back to the ones correcting, how you correct also matters. Choose your words carefully, that you bring the point home and still be gentle enough.
Do not use your tongue as a sword.
Season your words with the salt of love.
Love, confronts an issue sensitively, and corrects precisely. Love covers a multitude of sins, but still is patient enough to instruct and teach in love.
Love rejoices in the truth.