“It is clear, then, that to love others well we must first love the truth.”
There is so much talk today about love. We talk of acceptance and of equality.
We talk of fairness and of embracing the “other”. We discuss it in our businesses, in our politics and in our churches.
It trends on social media.
It’s made into shirts.
It’s on coffee mugs and large signs in those shops that make me feel cluttered inside.
And to be clear, I think it is very good to talk about love.
But we are not really talking about love today for we are not talking about truth.
You do not hear people discussing ways to love one another in relation to the truth but rather in relation to the “modern point of view”.
It is because we have belittled our brokenness.
We have abandoned the notion that something has indeed gone very wrong and therefore we need to love in accordance with our fractured frames. We have raised high the banner of “love” and pushed away our desire for “truth”.
This is the definition of absurdity: to act as if we can care for someone well without seeking truth with our whole hearts.
It is, as all things in modernity are, to make man the end and god (if we discuss him at all) the means. It is to forsake truth like Pilate did, “What is truth?” we cry out, and then act as if we can still love one another.
You and I hurt each other when we fail to seek truth before loving our neighbor. It is not a matter of loving less but of injuring ourselves and those we claim to love. We hurt one another for we think ourselves the final judge on any given subject.
We deem our feelings King and therefore have made absurdity our prince.
It is the reason we discuss making kids able to choose their gender – “we are loving them” we say.
It is the reason we are silent when we ought to speak – “we are loving them” we say.
It is the reason we many of our friendships are shallow and weak – we only affirm and never ask what truth may say in this situation.
It is the reason we are restless and tired – we have divided our nature by attempting to love without knowledge of the truth.
It is the reason our marriages fall apart and our children learn to resent us – we act surprised that loving can be so very hard because we have forgotten that truth took love to very painful places.
Yet, the truth that came from Nazareth did tell us these things would happen. He told us that He would come to His own but His own would reject Him. We have always been very blind to the truth that sits next to our everyday.
Yet for those of us who can see (albeit darkly and through a glass), we have a duty to the injured.
For every time we attempt to love without seeking truth we hurt our brother and sister.
We injure them.
We put a mark on them that says they were not worthy enough to be told the truth and therefore not worthy to be loved.
Our culture screams at the truth.
It has nailed all truth claims to the history books and seeks to make it a fool.
And yet, truth is accustomed to being nailed.
Truth has known and will continue to know betrayal.
Truth knows what it is to bleed without cause.
And so we must not grow despondent.
You and I must not give up on truth nor grow jaded.
We must continue to believe in resurrection and therefore believe that when we love someone in relation to the truth, we are sowing seeds for a newness that cannot be thwarted.
We must hate a love that lies and adore a love that tells the truth.
We must stop injuring one another by rejecting the truth.