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Speaking the Truth with Love

Speaking the Truth with Love
Acts 21:27–22:21
Read today’s headlines and you might conclude that Christian boldness is a thin disguise for defensiveness, anger, and demeaning behavior. Believers who feel voiceless in their society sometimes respond by becoming adamant “defenders of the faith” in ways that can be destructive. In an age of instant electronic communication, our potential for good or harm has increased exponentially. But if we lay claim to special rights as Christians, we have forgotten that we’re supposed to be like Jesus.
We need wisdom and spiritual maturity to share our faith with love. Paul serves as a model for using influence in a Christ-like way. In Acts 21–22, Paul encountered an angry Jewish mob that wanted him dead. He could have responded to the crowd self-righteously, looking down on them from his enlightened position. Instead, Paul confessed that he was once a persecutor of “this Way” (Acts 22:4). He could have used his status as a Roman citizen to his own advantage. Instead, he testified about the “Righteous One” to people who vehemently opposed him.
Paul came from a place of humility. He appealed to the Jews by telling them his own story—simply, boldly, and honestly. He emphasized his transformation: He was once a persecutor of the Church, but now he shared the work of Jesus in his life.
We should be ready to do likewise, to spread the gospel by speaking the truth in love, without insisting on our rights or using our influence in self-serving ways. We should be like Paul, but mostly we should be like Jesus. We should be ready to preach wherever and whenever we can and trust that God will work out the rest.
How are you sharing the gospel with both truth and love?
Rebecca Kruyswijk

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