Brethren, why do we hate hearing the truth? We act as if we do but when it comes to the crunch and reality sets in, and then we can’t handle it. It’s easier to get defensive and offended than to admit to the truth. Nobody really wants to receive correction anymore.
Years ago, and this was in a Christian setting, I realised that quoting scripture to back up my exhortation was making some people feel very uncomfortable. They felt rebuked, admonished, chastised, and condemned. They perceived me as being too self-righteous and constantly looking down my nose at them.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12 King James Version (KJV)
So, I began to question myself. What was I doing wrong? Was it my persona or my delivery? Maybe I wasn’t expressing enough love?
Why did they believe that because I was quoting scripture from the Bible, it meant that I must be flawless or incapable of making mistakes too? It baffled me because during those exhortation I was talking to myself too. Most of the time I was hearing the Holy Spirit speaking through me and would be ministered to at the same time as they were also being ministered to too. I didn’t know it all. I never claimed to know it all but I was still despised for speaking the truth.
I felt misunderstood. Probably the same way a lot of church leaders must feel when they fall short of people’s expectations. Aren’t we all striving towards perfection? Why do we always bash the deliverer of the news?
As a result of this experience, I have learnt how to speak with extreme simplicity. I speak the truth based on the Bible without necessarily quoting it word for word. It goes down much easier but the message is still the same. Is this a compromise, you may wonder? The truth will always be the truth and there can be no compromise. Yet, with humility, I always hope and pray that it is received in love.
“(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
Ephesians 4:9-17 King James Version (KJV)