Education and Relation: Truth and Love
Think with me for a moment about education and relationships. Some of you care deeply that education not ignore or marginalize relationships of love. They are essential in real, lasting, life-changing education. Amen.
So I turn to the Bible. I find in place of the words, "education" and "relationship," the words, "truth" and "love." So what does the Bible say about how truth and love relate to each other? There are at least four ways of talking about this relationship.
1. Truth aims at love.
"The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith" (
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider one another how to stir up to love and good deeds, . . . encouraging one another" (
2. Love aims at truth.
"Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth" (
"Out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not so that you would be made sorrowful, but that you might know the love which I have especially for you" (
3. Love shapes how to speak the truth.
"Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ" (
But it does ask about what is the most helpful thing to say when everything is considered. Sometimes what would have been a hard word to one group is a needed act of love to another group, and not a wrong to the group addressed. But in general, love shapes truth into words and ways that are patient and gentle
4. Truth shapes how to show love.
"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome" (
One truth test for our love is whether we are keeping the commandments of God toward people. In other words, love cannot be cut loose from the truth of God's will. Truth shapes how to show love.
Let us pray that God will cause his love and truth to abound and mingle in us in all these ways for the glory of his truth-filled love and love-filled truth.