Divine Yinyong (鸳鸯)

By Not Known

Love and truth seem to be like tea and coffee – you have one or the other, but not both. Let’s think about the possible combinations.

Truth – love = insensitive  Perhaps you know someone who is free with their opinions but delivers them in an ugly way. They may well speak truth (and at lengthy detail) but they do it in a graceless way without respect to timing, audience, manner and purpose. Perhaps they are trying to ‘score’ a point against you, lack EQ or are unknowingly trying to bolster their insecurity with a ‘win’. This is ugly and never more so when it is religious truth. God’s cause is invariably harmed, not helped, when someone pushes their truth about of God on us without love.

Love – truth = indulgent  Others may go to the opposite possibility. This is the person who avoids certain topics, withholds their real views or presents a false view in an effort to make and keep peace. Perhaps this person craves acceptance or avoids conflict so much that it’s a case of peace at any price. Or perhaps they are repelled, or have been bullied, by graceless truth. Or maybe they have a mistaken idea of what tolerance means.

Whatever the roots, love without truth is bound to end in tears. A peace created without truth is apt to be short-lived, for truth invariably comes out. Again, if we start avoiding certain topics to preserve peace we may end up with nothing to talk about apart from the weather. Something else: is it really loving to suppress the truth that makes people free and whole?

Where do we go with this? Let’s go back to tea and coffee. Have you tried yinyong? It is a Hong Kong mix of tea and coffee that makes a delightful combination. Likewise, godly love and truth make a delightful combination.

Love + truth = inspired  Consider these words: Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the head, that is Christ (Eph 4:15).

These words were written about relations between church members, but they apply more widely. Our personal integrity, our love for others and our love for God compel us to speak only truth, even if it is uncomfortable truth. However, those same forces should compel us to speak the truth in love as to audience, manner, intent and timing.

None shows us this better than Jesus. His dealings with people show a consistent combination of love and truth. Let us do the same and thus show ourselves to be children of he who came to bring ‘grace and truth’ from God (Jn 1:14).