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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Shhh. (02/18/10)

TITLE: Speaking the Truth in Love
By Ruth Thoutenhoofd


I am a softie. I couldn’t stand to hear my babies cry so I did whatever was necessary to keep that from happening. Whenever I could, as they grew up, I said “yes” to their desires. Causing them pain was the very last thing I ever wanted to do. But there comes a time in a child’s life when you have to be tough. You can’t allow bullying. You can’t allow disrespect. You can’t let a little girl run across a busy road to see how close she can get to the cars without being hit.

I have worked with people who have made horrible decisions in their lives and I was always kind. I tried to understand why they had become so unwise and more often than not would give them second third and fourth chances, because I knew they didn’t have the benefit of having been taught the right way to live life.

So I am not one of those who enjoys being tough. I hate it! But God would have us be truthful, and I believe this is the time that we must speak his words accurately and stop the confusion.

Heaven and hell are a reality. Rejection of God brings eternal damnation, not because God created a place of horrors for people he chooses to damn, but because he made a way to save the whole world at extreme cost to himself. Rejection of that way gives him no other option but to allow them to go where they choose – out of his presence forever where there is no light and no goodness and no love.

Those who choose God’s way will live in a manner consistent with his laws. No, they won’t be perfect, but they will desire what he desires. The Holy Spirit will instruct them and teach them in the way they should go. Their lives will be noticeably different from those who do not choose his way.

God disciplines those he loves. Just as a loving parent directs his child to live in a way that will cause him good and not harm, God directs us. When we are stubborn or unwise and in the process of destroying our own lives, he finally corrects us. Sometimes this is extremely painful. He allows – even causes - this pain on purpose so that we will redirect out lives and come back to the truth. He doesn’t do it with any enjoyment, but out of necessity because of his perfect love.

Christians have become fearful of speaking the truth about God in North America. If someone of any influence dares to say any of these things straight up with no apology, the media goes into a kind of frenzy. Then they get shushed, often by other believers. We are causing confusion.

Our God is love. Period. I couldn’t agree more.

But love has been redefined. This new “love” is tolerant; it never chastises; it never requires anything difficult of its object. It speaks truth only when that truth makes the recipient feel good about him or herself. It fudges; it appreciates everything; it approves of everything.

The vast majority of us agree that a parent with this kind of “love” is a bad parent. We know they are too lazy to actually teach their children how to have a good and happy life and instead opt to try to make their children happy at all times, or worse, ignore them completely. We have all seen the results of this kind of parenting. It’s hard to watch. Why, then, do we expect our all wise and all loving God to be this kind of parent to us?
We’re not making sense.

Let’s portray out heavenly Father the way he is, not he way people think they want him to be. It's the loving thing to do. We have no other real option, if we truly care.

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This article has been read 466 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Cindy Carver02/25/10
Awesome, powerful, well written. Thank you for the reminders of true love.
Donna Wolther02/26/10
I appreciate your description of hell:
Rejection of that way gives him no other option but to allow them to go where they choose – out of his presence forever where there is no light and no goodness and no love.
I think many people never stop to think of the reality of heaven or hell and have such a poor perception of what both will be.
Good writing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/28/10
You make some very valid points and I could feel your passion. Capitalize the pronouns, Him and He when referring to Jesus other than that little thing you presented a strong and powerful article.
Jan Ackerson 03/02/10
Your passion is very obvious!

I had to really stretch to find a way for this to fit the prompt for the week.

To bump up the readability of your devotionals, add little anecdotes and object lessons.

Your writing skills are right up there, and I enjoyed this lesson.
Marie Fink03/03/10
This is a good reminder for us softies.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/04/10
Congratulations on your Highly Commended, sorry about the pronoun comment earlier, originally I thought you capitalized it sometime, but not all the time. When I reread it, I saw that you only capitalized He at the beginning of a sentence. Sorry for the mistake on my part. Your writing is lovely.
Ruth Stromquist03/04/10
Some excellent analogies here used in a very good exhortation. Congrats on the article's success!