Day 4: Sharing the Gospel, part 1 — Truth and love, no compromise
By Jordan Rowley
, spiritual coordinator, Climbing For Christ
Gary Fallesen prays for a blind Kurdish man, Yusuf, whom he befriended on missions to eastern Turkey from 2013 to 2015. He prayed that Yusuf, a Muslim, would have dreams about Christ and through them realize Jesus is the One true God. (Photo by Elaine Fallesen, Mission: Ararat 2015)
When we’re talking about witnessing for Jesus Christ, truth and love go hand in hand. They are two sides to the same coin. United they stand, divided they fall.
In other words, we shouldn’t compromise love for the sake of truth and we shouldn’t compromise truth for the sake of love.
I think this bears repeating because, unfortunately, so many well-intentioned believers do just that. We shouldn’t compromise love for the sake of truth and we shouldn’t compromise truth for the sake of love!
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” — Ephesians 4:15
“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” — 1 John 3:18
I don’t know about you, but I’ve personally seen people attempt to share the Good News in ways that seem to forfeit either love or truth. Shouting at or arguing with a non-believer is not loving. Similarly, omitting the fact that we are all sinners or that Jesus Christ is the One and only Way to everlasting life is not truthful.
In one case, love is sacrificed for truth. In the other, truth is sacrificed for love.
That said, real
truth is shared in real
love and real
love is shared in real
truth — no compromise!
To do otherwise is a tragedy and it is certainly not what the Lord would have us do. Rather, He instructs us to be 100 percent truthful and 100 percent loving — at the same time.
According to a survey conducted by the Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of Intercultural Studies, the lifestyle of Christians is the No. 1 reason Muslims come to Christ. The beautifully loving lifestyle demonstrated by Christians to believers, non-believers, men, women, old and young, greatly impacts the Muslims who witness it. Likewise, the truth found in the Bible is the fourth-ranked reason Muslims become believers according to this survey.
Truth and love in action
We must know the truth to share the truth. Truth is essential! If we’re not sharing truth then what’s the point in sharing anything? Sharing in truth doesn’t simply mean declaring what’s right; it also means exposing what’s false. Hopefully we could all agree on this very basic concept of the Good News of Jesus Christ found in Paul’s letter to the Romans and the Gospel of John:
“There is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10). “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever should believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Love:
Even though we know Christianity to be the one true Way, we must not come off as attacking or arrogant. If we simply share the truth in love, people will see our genuineness and concern and therefore be more receptive. But what is love? What does Christian
love look like?
Love does no harm. Love builds others up. Love suffers and is kind, doesn’t get jealous, isn’t arrogant, rude or self-serving. Love bears, believes, hopes and endures all things. Love never fails. Love serves others. Love looks out for the needs of others regardless of what they can do in return. Love stands up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Love defends the vulnerable. Love helps the needy. Love cares for the neglected. Love forgives. Love turns the other cheek. Love goes the extra mile. Love is sacrificial!
Father in Heaven,
We give You thanks for Your love. We give You thanks for Your truth. We give You thanks for opening our hearts and minds to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Today, we pray the same for our Muslim neighbors. Open their minds to Your truth. Open their hearts to Your love. And Lord, send Your servants who will share Your message of salvation without compromise! Send them to Muslim communities near and far. “Here am I, Lord, send me!” Give me a greater love for followers of Islam and a firmer grasp on Your truth. Use my mind and my mouth, my hands and my heart, to lovingly and truthfully share the Gospel with Muslims.
In Jesus’ name, amen.