Lately, I have gotten the notion that there tends to be a misconception between what is considered telling the truth vs. judging; and it appears that nowadays more people are mixing telling the truth with judgement. Well, telling the truth IS not judging and vice versa. When we tell someone the truth, it is done out of love; not out of hypocrisy or pride but the rightful handling of the truth ( 2 Timothy 2:15). We need not confuse/blur the lines between telling the truth to others and judging others because they are indeed two very different concepts; one is right and one is wrong.
It is my opinion that the reason why we are seeing more of what people tell us as “judgement” than the truth is because we know in our hearts that we are not doing the right thing. So, it’s easier to excuse someone as judging you then to acknowledge that they are telling the truth about whatever it is that you are doing. For instance, say that you have been saying distasteful/nasty things about someone to your friends but then you tell your friends to not judge you. Well, first, I think it’s important to note that telling the truth is not to cast you down or something against you but rather something for you that shows that someone truly cares about you. Secondly, it would only be the rightful handling of the truth to call to attention as a friend why what you said was inappropriate on the basis of the word of God. Not because “I just think it is inappropriate” but literally because the word of God speaks of having conversations full of grace, useful for building people up and to hear you speaking otherwise; just is not okay because God says it is not. Now, it’s a different story if the friend is also participating in your malicious conversation as that is hypocrisy but if that is not the case, you should be receptive to the truth because it is being receptive to God’s word and to GOD. Telling someone the truth does not have to do with the self but with Jesus Christ.
Why is it important that we tell each other the truth ?
1) We are not able to grow as one in Christ if we are not willing to be receptive to the truth. The bible says in Ephesians 4:15: “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ“. In order to grow, we have to be told the truth about the things that we do so that we can change for the better. Telling the truth is to be constructive/useful for one another; not to bring each other down and to be spiteful. We tell the truth because we want to see each other progress in the direction God would have them to progress.
2) If we choose to ignore the truth/suppress the truth, we just put ourselves in bondage. The bible says in John 8:32: “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” . Living a life not in truth is not living the life God has for you; it’s living in darkness and darkness restrains, inhibits us from God’s best.
3) John 14:6: “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. “If we claim to follow Jesus than to not tell the truth would be being disobedient. We stand by truth, walk by the truth and speak in truth; it’s just what we do and apart of who we are.
To conclude, 1 John 3:16-24
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.
If we love each other the way we do, should/ought to, then we ought to tell each other the TRUTH and to receive the truth for what it is ourselves.