Speak the Truth with Love



The Bible needs to be taught to all people and not altered in any way, but there also needs to be thought put into how the teaching is done. 

In 1st Kings 22 we see Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, come down to Ahab, king of Israel. Ahab speaks of how Ramoth-gilead is a piece of land that belongs to Israel and yet they are hesitant to take it from Aram, who now occu-pies the land. Ahab asks Jehoshaphat if he will go with him to fight this battle and Jehosha-phat is willing to go and bring his people and horses. Before he does though, he wants to hear from a prophet of the Lord. So, Ahab brings about 400 prophets and asks them if they should go battle against Ramoth-gilead. They tell Ahab to go and that God will hand it over to him. Jehoshaphat sees though that these aren’t prophets of the Lord and we see that in his response in verse 7. “Is there no longer a prophet of the LORD here, that we may inquire of him?” Ahab now admits that there is a prophet of the Lord but let us notice how he describes this prophet. In verse 8 Ahab says “There is still one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, but I hate him, because he does not prophesy anything good regarding me, but only bad. He is Micaiah the son of Im-lah.” Jehoshaphat requests Ahab to bring him and Ahab listens. 


A messenger comes to get Micaiah and tells him of how the other prophets (false prophets) have given Ahab a unanimously favorable report and the messenger asks if Micaiah can do the same. In verses 10-12, we can see that the false prophets had continued to tell Ahab to go fight and that God will hand them Ramoth-gilead over to the king. Micaiah’s reaction to this statement is a powerful one and one to add to our lives. In verse 14, Micaiah says “As the LORD lives, what-ever the LORD says to me, I shall speak it.” It didn’t matter how many people had told Ahab that it was good for him to go, Micaiah was go-ing to say what God says. There can be temptation to try and change the truth to make it fit to people’s views or make it easier for them to be a Christian if they don’t have to follow a certain command of God. That is not to be done with God’s word. We are to speak exactly what God says and not change the meaning of the passage. God’s word is sufficient for every good deed (2nd Tim 3:16-17) and holds the words of eternal life. We need to let it do the talking. 

Micaiah is going to say what God’s Word says. When Micaiah gets to king Ahab, Ahab asks him if they should go to this battle. In short, Mi-caiah tells Ahab that it won’t go well for him and the nation. We see in verses 17-28, Micaiah tells Ahab the Word of God, that God allowed a spirit to go and entice Ahab to go fight and the spirit did this through the mouths of the false prophets we spoke of earlier. Ahab doesn’t like what he is told and is going to go fight anyway, but wants Micaiah kept alive while Ahab is gone. Micaiah will tell Ahab that if he comes back safely God didn’t speak by him. In summary of verses 29-40, Ahab did not come back safely and dies in battle. 

Micaiah spoke truth even in the face of having someone tell him to just say what Ahab wanted to hear. That’s a great example to follow, to make sure we aren’t changing truth to fit someone else’s desires. 

Does this mean that we can go up to someone that we see living in sin, whether that is someone living in homosexuality, adultery, greed, drunkenness, or other sins and just recite verses like 1st Corinthians 

6:9-10, which states that those who practice these sins, amongst others, will not inherit the kingdom of God. No, it does not! 1st Timothy 1:5 states “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from a sincere faith.” When we go to teach others the gospel we must go in love. People that stand on the street corners with the “You’re going to hell” signs aren’t evangelizing, they’re checking a box on their “Christian to do list.” We are to teach with love, as Jesus did! When He spoke to the women at the well in John 4, He didn’t speak of how she was so bad that she struggled in sin and condemned her. In-stead, He introduced her to the Living Water (Himself). Jesus met her where she was at. She was someone of little religious knowledge and with the loving guidance of our God, she believed Jesus was the Christ and led others to Him. 

When Jesus speaks to people that should know better, like the Pharisees, in Matthew 23, Jesus speaks to them in a stern manner. The reason why is because they should’ve known better. They were arrogant and had hardness of hearts. They were religiously educated and should’ve known better, that the scriptures stated Jesus was who He said He was. The real-ity though is that they didn’t because of the blindness they allowed themselves to live in. 

In both John 4 and Matthew 23 Jesus teaches truth. (Of course He does, it’s Jesus!). In both chapters He teaches truth with love. He met the peo-ple He was speaking to where they were at. He greatly cared for and loved the woman at the well and the Pharisees. For us, we can go up to someone who has no relationship with Jesus and tell them how they are living in sin and are going to hell, or we can show them Jesus and the love He has for them. You may be right in saying that if they are don’t stop their sin they are going to eternal punishment, but what good is it to say that a person? You can speak the truth with love and meet the per-son where they are at, or you can check the box that you evangelized to someone. Let us all look to actually help souls meet Jesus instead of putting checks in boxes.