I’ve been contemplating about the subject of truth and love all week. How, as followers of Christ, we can live in the tension between the two of them. If you haven’t felt the tension, or haven’t really thought about it, think of the last time you had to forgive a friend or a loved one over something BIG. There’s always that struggle in us to forgive because while we want to love and make our relationship right with that person again, we don’t want to dismiss or forget what had happened.
TRUTH points out what’s wrong in us, in situations we find ourselves in, the sin that we’re hiding. LOVE is grace, forgiveness, redemption, acceptance. When we’re teaching or giving advice to others, all we want to teach is the TRUTH, not because we don’t think love is important. but because there’s already too much of it. But when it’s our turn to face it, all we want is LOVE, because we already know what we’ve done wrong.
The single most difficult pursuit is truth and love.
That sentence is grammatically correct. I know every English teacher wanted to pluralize it to read: The most difficult pursuits are those of truth and love but that’s not what I meant to say.
True, love is a difficult pursuit. Correct, truth is a tough one, too.
But put them together, pursue truth and love at the same time, and hang on, baby, you’re in for the ride of your life.
But that’s the task of the Christian. Love in truth. Truth in love. Never one at the expense of the other. Never the embrace of love without the torch of truth. Never the heat of truth without the warmth of love.
Never would be easier if we could choose between the two, but we can’t. So John, in this second letter, calls for a hybrid.
“I love all of you in the truth, and all those who know the truth love you. We love you because of the truth that lives in us and will be with us forever. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, will be with us in truth and love.” (2 John 2-3)
Truth and love. Love and truth. Never one without the other. To pursue both is our singular task.