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Love Is Truthful

October 5, 2011

God is so amazing! His timing is perfect, and it’s simply awesome to know that He cares about the little details in our lives.

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You may have to read my previous post, Little Miss Judgey Pants, in order to have context for this post. In this last post, I was being honest and transparent about a sin that I struggle with: being judgmental of others. I wrote the post, and sent it to a friend to proof for me. Then I listened to a podcast of our pastor’s sermon from several weeks ago. My family missed church the last Sunday the pastor was finishing up a series on “love” from 1 Corinthians 13.

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I could have listened to this podcast on the same day we missed church several weeks ago. Or I could have listened to it last week. Or I could never have gotten around to listening to it. But because God’s timing is perfect, and because He desires for me to know Him more and for me to know that He truly cares about all areas of my life … He presented the opportunity for me to listen to this online sermon right when I needed it.

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So can you guess the Scripture used? Yep, Matthew 7. GULP. Exactly the passage I had been struggling with!

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Matthew 7:1-5 says:

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

 

The sermon was entitled, “Love is Truthful,” based on 1 Corinthians 13:6:  “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” Love must be truthful, and if you love someone and there is an issue to confront, it must be done in love.

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So how should we speak the truth in love with others? Here are the sermon notes that I want to share.

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1. Check Your Motives

Why are you to confront the other person? Is it to gain glory for yourself? Or is it to help them grow in grace?

  •  “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5)
  •  “Again, do you think that we excuse ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ. But we do all things, beloved, for your edification.” (2 Corinthians 12:19)
  •  “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:6)
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2. Plan Your Meeting

Never confront somebody on the spur of the moment; always plan when and where to confront.

  •  “Intelligent people think before they speak; what they say is then more persuasive.” (Proverbs 16.23, GNT)

√ Plan When You’ll Say It
“There is a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” (Ecclesiastes 3:7)

 √ Plan What You’ll Say
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11)

 √  Plan How You’ll Say It
“There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health.” (Proverbs 12:18)

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3. Speak To Promote Health

√  Say It Tactfully
“The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant words are persuasive.” (Proverbs 16:21 NLT)

 √  Say It Lovingly
“I am asking you to respond as if you were my own children. Open your hearts to us!” (2 Corinthians 6:13 NLT)

 √  Say It Gently
“A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)

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4. Give Them Affirmation

Don’t begin your planned meeting with criticism; be affirmative.

  •  “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.” (Proverbs 12:25)
  •  “I thank my God always concerning you.” (1 Corinthians 1:4)
  •  “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 16:24)
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5. Risk Their Rejection

You have to be prepared that even though you speak in love, your message may not be taken well.

  •  “I know I distressed you greatly with my letter. Although I felt awful at the time, I don’t feel at all bad now that I see how it turned out. The letter upset you, but only for a while. Now I’m glad—not that you were upset, but that you were jarred into turning things around. You let the distress bring you to God, not drive you from him. The result was all gain, no loss.” (2 Corinthians 7:8-9 MSG)
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Good stuff, right? Some may count it “coincidence” that I listened to this sermon right after having asked for forgiveness for being judgmental. But I call it “God’s perfect timing.” His grace comforted me when my sin needed forgiven, and His perfect will helped me to continue growing in wisdom and in knowledge.

I told you God was amazing!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Cheri permalink
    October 6, 2011 8:28 pm

    Thank you, Christi….again….for bringing those things to my remembrance. I have a situation I need to address and I need to have my heart right before I do. Love you 🙂

    • October 7, 2011 9:05 am

      I can send you the link to listen to the whole sermon, if you like. It was great!

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