Truth and Love | Devotional
Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.”
The apostle John was always committed to truth, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that, but it is not enough. Zeal for the truth must be balanced by love for people.
Truth without love has no decency; it’s just brutality. On the other hand, love without truth has no character; it’s just hypocrisy.
Many people are just as imbalanced as John was, only in the other direction. They place too much emphasis on the love side of the fulcrum.
Some are merely ignorant; others are deceived; still others simply do not care about what is true.
In each case, truth is missing, and all they are left with is error, clothed in a shallow, tolerant sentimentality.
It is a poor substitute for genuine love. They talk a lot about love and tolerance, but they utterly lack any concern for the truth.
Therefore even the “love” they speak of is a tainted love. Real love “does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6).
On the other hand, there are many who have all their theological ducks in a row and know their doctrine but are unloving and self-exalting.
They are left with truth as cold facts, stifling and unattractive.
Their lack of love cripples the power of the truth they profess to revere.
The truly godly person must cultivate both virtues in equal proportions. If you could wish for anything in your sanctification, wish for that.
If you pursue anything in the spiritual realm, pursue a perfect balance of truth and love. Know the truth, and uphold it in love.
John MacArthur is a profound teacher of the word of God, a zealous preacher of Christian doctrine, a renowned writer and speaker, and Pastor and Teacher at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California