Truth and/or Love?

Are truth and love in conflict with each other? In our postmodern culture, they are. As worldviews they are in divisive disagreement. On an interpersonal level, people usually fall into a predominance of one of the two. The disproportion reflects groups, churches, and organizations in an unbalanced view of these vital standards.

If we hold to truths of any kind, we often find severity or belligerence in defense of them. It can be any truth assertion, whether spiritual, philosophical, or political. Enmity and antagonism is the driving energy of our society. They do not call it a culture “war” for nothing. There are times we encounter those infected with a cold, judgmental attitude, using convictions as an excuse to be this way.

On the other hand, a major preoccupation in our day is love. Not sacrificial, virtuous love as once understood by the term. What we have is an “I’m OK, You’re OK, every evil under the sun is OK” love. Let’s just love. We are not sure what this means, it is a subjective emotion. Moral reason is replaced with fuzzy sentimentality. If you listen carefully, it is not often you hear what people morally or rationally think about an issue, but how they feel. This becomes the core argument. Hypocritically, visceral antagonism is directed toward any opposition. 

The redefinition of love is self-serving. There are those who do see love as a guiding value in relating to others, with a genuine wish to show graciousness and kindness. Yet, in the charged atmosphere of volatile sensitivities and politically correct mindsets, our discernment becomes confused. We throw the baby out with the bathwater. To appear to be "loving", values take a back seat. We don’t want to be the haters people accuse us of. The word hate-being the opposite of what we are called to as Christians-is abhorrent to us, it makes us feel bad about ourselves. Since feelings define truth and reality in our culture, we want to avoid this at any cost.

Does truth matter? Are the Beetles right, is love all we need? Where is the balance? We find it in Jesus Christ.

Jesus embodied truth and love perfectly. Neither attribute diminished the other. Truth was not a hammer to smite blows on poor souls. Nor was love a cloying, flower child notion that excused sin. No virtue was at a loss for the sake of any other. Jesus’s perfect life of holiness lived out truth and love in complete harmony.

In our human nature it is hard to reconcile truth and love. Our fleshly impulses can draw us away from one or the other, or excuse one with the other. The more we learn from and follow Jesus, the more we become balanced. As we allow Scripture to define our understanding, rather than cultural pressure, we live by His example. Christ's pure and gloriously divine character not only inspires us to imitate Him in our relationship toward others, but fills us with awe of our wonderful Lord.

Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Psalm 85:10.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14.

Grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. John 1:17b.

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