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Love One Another - How to Speak the Truth in Love, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
May 28, 2024 6:00 am

Love One Another - How to Speak the Truth in Love, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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May 28, 2024 6:00 am

Jesus told us to speak the truth in love. But for most of us, it’s hard! If you’d like to know how to speak the truth, with boldness and with love, join Chip as he reveals how to do just that.

Main Points

Why must we admonish one another?

  • It is a command. - Colossians 3:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:14
  • Because we all have “blind spots.” - Psalm 19:12; 139:23-24 
  • To become godly, holy, mature Christians. - Colossians 1:28-29 
  • It cultivates deep, loving relationships. - 1 Thessalonians 2:8 
  • Because sin destroys a believer’s life. - Romans 6:23
  • Because we are members of one another. Unchecked sin impacts the whole body - Romans 12:4-5

Who is competent to admonish?

  1. It requires a life "full of goodness"
  2. It requires a life "filled with knowledge"
  3. It requires a "heart filled with love"

How to admonish - "the process":

Step #1: Examine your own life. - Matthew 7:3-5 

Step #2: Examine the Word. - 2 Timothy 2:15 

Step #3: Examine your motives. - 1 Corinthians 4:14 

Step #4: Set a time to meet privately. - Matthew 18:15 

Step #5: Ask specific questions to confirm data, and disarm the situation. 

Step #6: Tenderly point out the sin; show them the Scripture that applies to them.

Step #7: If possible, develop a game plan, timetable, and follow-up meeting for support and follow-through.

Conclusion: Admonition is God’s antibiotic for the church; done Biblically, it is the most loving thing you can do … for all concerned. 

Broadcast Resource Additional Resource Mentions About Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram’s passion is helping Christians really live like Christians. As a pastor, author, and teacher for more than three decades, Chip has helped believers around the world move from spiritual spectators to healthy, authentic disciples of Jesus by living out God’s truth in their lives and relationships in transformational ways.

About Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge exists to help Christians live like Christians. Established in 1995 as the radio ministry of pastor and author Chip Ingram, God has since grown it into a global discipleship ministry. Living on the Edge provides Biblical teaching and discipleship resources that challenge and equip spiritually hungry Christians all over the world to become mature disciples of Jesus.

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I don't know about you, but when a situation arises where I have to confront someone about something they said or something they did, I really struggle.

How do we speak the truth in love in those kind of situations? That's today. Stay with me. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. And in just a minute, we'll begin highlighting an excerpt from his series, Love One Another. For the next handful of programs, we'll learn how to display the love of Jesus in two specific situations, when conflict arises and when you have to have a difficult conversation with a friend. And that's where Chip will begin today, how to speak the truth in love. And let me encourage you to stick around after this message as Chip shares what he's learned in this area over the years.

You won't want to miss it. Okay, go in your Bible now to Romans chapter 15 as Chip dives right into today's talk. The best, the deepest and the closest friends that I have or that I have ever had have one thing in common. They all have each loved me enough to tell me things about my life that no one else cared enough to say. When I measure friends, when I measure the people, when I lay in bed at night and look at the ceiling and think of the snapshots of I mean, the people that have loved me, the people that I remember, they all have this one thing in common.

They care enough and they cared enough to say the things to me that put our relationship on the line. I can think of four encounters that changed the entire course of my life because someone loved me enough to speak the truth to me. The first was next to a water fountain. I was a Christian about nine months or a year.

I can tell you right where it was. The fellow's name was Jerry. I was a growing Christian with lots of struggles and I just had gotten involved with a relationship with a non-Christian gal and it was going in a direction that wasn't healthy and it wasn't honoring God. And Jerry took me aside and he put his arm on my shoulder and he was walking from a Bible study and he opened his Bible. He turned it to Second Corinthians chapter six and he says, Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.

And you know what? I didn't like what he had to say and I thought, Who are you to tell me who I can date and who I can and I don't really appreciate it. And I got alone and I prayed and he was right. And I think of where I would have been if I would have stayed in that relationship. Second was a fellow named John.

Unfortunately, I can always remember where these happen. When you get love deeply and it hurts, it kind of sticks with you. I was at a summer training program off of Ohio State's campus and they were these double beds and I just made my bed and John came in and it was cleared and he gave me a three by five card. He says, I've really been thinking about you, Chip. I've really been praying.

He was my team leader on this little project. And on the three by five card was two verses. Luke 16, 15 and Galatians 1, 10.

And Luke 16, 15 says, For that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God. And he turned to me, said, Chip, he said, You know, I think you're learning how to jump through all the right hoops in Christian circles, but I don't think you do it to please God. I think you do it to please people. I think you have a major problem with arrogance and pride in your life.

And Galatians 1, 10 says, For am I now a servant of God or a pleaser of people? And it goes on. I'd like to have hit him. I mean, you talk about. And then I prayed about it.

It was so painful because it was so true. The third was a fellow named Bill. Bill's gone home to be with the Lord.

Integrity, like few people I've ever met. It was an elder country Bible church. I can tell you where I was. There's a little little a frame type pavilion right in front that we build on the front of that old building to keep the rain off. And it had cleared out after a Tuesday or Wednesday night or some meeting.

And Bill was a real big man. He came up to me and said, Well, God's doing something here, isn't he? I said, Yeah, I've been there about two or three years and things were growing. And, you know, in any church, there's some of this. But in a real small rural church, there's a lot of it. You know, the politics about 80 percent of people are related to one another in some way, somewhere, somehow. And everyone has an agenda. And and they want to see it grow.

But as soon as the old timers see the newcomers come. And so I was really getting some pressure about what I was teaching on. And and he put his arm on my shoulder and he looked me right in the eye and said, Chip, I believe God wants to do something in your life. Said you're at a crossroads that every young pastor comes to. He said, You're either going to say it like it is and you're going to speak the truth or you're going to cave into the political pressure.

So I can see it happening in the church. This guy had been really around the block. He said, You're getting pulled here and pulled here and pulled here. And he said, You will either become just another person that tickles people's ears and you tell them what they want to hear. Or you will stand up and be a man of integrity and preach and teach what you know is true, regardless of who defends. And he said, I admonish you.

Don't cave in. Spent a couple of nights pretty late on that one. The fourth one was another man named Bill. I was sitting in his office. My wife had just heard all these glowing reports about good things about her. And it was something Dallas Seminary put on called lead leadership evaluation development and a number of other other pastors had been there. And so he talked about my wife, encouraged her and looked at her gifts and her profile turned to me. And I think, Oh, good, you know, this is good because she got such good reports.

I'm ready for mine. And he looked at me and he crossed his arms and he'd known me for a long time. He said, Chip, you're lazy. He said, Oh, I mean, you know, in other areas in preaching. You're a lazy preacher. So I've looked at your tapes. He said, God's given you a lot of gift. You're not doing near with your gift what you could be doing.

This is in front of my wife. I remember going home from lead and beginning to prepare messages like I'd never prepared my whole life. See, the first one was a relationship issue. The second one was a character issue.

The third one was a ministry issue, and the last one was a giftedness issue. I don't know where I'd be without those four people loving me enough to say what would and did offend me. But because they cared, the entire course of my whole life has changed. It's an ancient truth found in Proverbs 27, verses five and six. It says, Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.

In this series, we're talking about life in a supernatural community. What did Jesus say? He said, Love one another. How do we love one another?

The one anothers of the New Testament. Honor one another, care for one another, admonish one another. I believe that this particular one another, admonish one another, is the most neglected, the most misunderstood, the least practiced, and the most needed in the body of Christ.

He gives us a critical command. It's found in Romans, chapter 15, verse 14. The Apostle Paul, the context is awesome. He just talked in chapter 14, Don't judge one another in these gray areas, in these extra biblical issues. And then in chapter 15, he talks about relationships.

And then in verse 14, he says, And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are, one, full of goodness, two, filled with all knowledge, and three, why? Then you're able to admonish one another. He said, Don't judge one another.

And here's the point. Admonishing one another is not judging one another. Judging is when I see something in your life that disagrees with my opinion. Admonishing is when I see something in your life or you see something in my life that doesn't align with scripture and I come to you or you come to me and we honestly speak the truth because we care that you get the very best, that you become all God wants you to become.

And you realize, even right now, this is like the hair has gone up on the back of some of your necks like, Oh, no. You're not going to say we got to do this. No, I'm not going to say that. I'm going to tell you that's what God says. And so what I want to do is explain what is admonishment.

I want to talk about how to do it. I want to talk about why we need to do it because it is one of the most powerful, powerful things that ever happens in the life of a believer. So what is it? Definition? It's to exert influence upon another by life and word to guide him or her into obedience of God's will as revealed in scripture. Greek word is very interesting. In fact, a fellow back in the 70s out of a seminary in Philadelphia, he wrote a number of books and a very scholarly fellow, he actually started what he called nephatic counseling from the Greek word nepho.

And he did a little research. A guy named William Glasser was involved in reality therapy and he took some of those concepts and basically this word means telling it like it is, not blaming other people, helping people take responsibility to see where their life is not lining up with scripture. Colin Brown in his dictionary of the New Testament, I summarized it this way, admonishing consists of reminding, warning, counseling, correcting, reproving, and rebuking a person with the intention that he or she will carry it out. See, it's caring enough to confront. One scholar wrote, the word does not simply refer to casual communication or normal teaching but implies a definite and specific exhortation, correction, and warning to lead the person to specific action. See, this isn't even a, you know what, I have a little concern about this vague area in your life in this way and somehow, mm-mm, that's not even admonishment.

It's talking specifically about a specific area that doesn't line up with what's clearly God's will and then saying to the person, I care enough and I would like to open the scriptures with you and help you align your life in a way that it would be pleasing to God. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram and Chip will be back in just a minute to finish today's talk. But quickly, this program is only possible because of the generosity of listeners like you. Consider supporting us today by becoming a monthly partner. Learn more by going to livingontheedge.org.

That's livingontheedge.org. Thanks for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do. Let's rejoin Chip now for the remainder of his message. Now that sounds like pretty threatening stuff, doesn't it? Well, it is. And especially if anyone has ever done this badly, it may taint you for life. So let me make a clarification here and give you what admonition is not, okay?

Before we go on, just so you can relax just a little. This is what admonition is not. Five things it's not. One, it is not judging another's life who does not conform to your standards. It is responsibly caring enough to help another brother or sister see where his life or her life is not conforming to the absolutes of Scripture. Secondly, or second misconception, it is not a superior or the spiritual person talking down to the inferior, unspiritual person.

It is equal to equal, brother to brother, sister to sister, to save sinner in love saying, I care so much. I can't let you experience less than God's best. Third, it is not loading your spiritual shotgun and blasting God's people with pellets of correction. You know, stick those six guns on and you know what? I think this is a ministry for me. I'm just going to look around and just blow people away.

No, no, no. It is being sensitive to God's Spirit and the lives of others and not allowing things to remain the way they are simply because you fear rejection. You know the sad thing here? And we're all guilty. The sad thing here is that what we don't go and tell the person that really needs to hear it when we see a marriage drifting apart, when we see one of their kids really getting out of line, when we see one of our brothers and sisters spending money in a way that doesn't make sense, when we see things come out of people's mouth and you think, boy, that's danger.

Isn't it sad that instead of loving them enough to go tell them, we have the courage to go tell someone else? That's an indictment. Any time we share something with someone else that is not a part of the problem or the solution, the Bible has a name for it, gossip. Flip it over, it's called slander if it's not true. That's not what we're talking about. Fourth, it is not making general or veiled statements to a group hoping that the one you want to hear it will catch the message. You ever seen this happen? Amazing, isn't it?

Instead, admonishment is personal in nature and directed to the individual. We'll look at passages where the Apostle Paul will say, I said to each one of you. It was interesting, I remember a time at Dallas Seminary, this was really funny.

I was finishing up the work there, and this campus keeps growing and growing and growing. This is how institutions respond. I hope they never hear this, but they might.

They make mistakes too. But someone left a coffee pot on. This is classic corporate America.

Someone left a coffee pot on and there was a little tiny fire. That person who did that, that department that did that, in that one building out of all those buildings, never heard a word, never heard a word from the administration. But a week later, a policy came out, right? A policy came out. All departments, all buildings, all over the seminary cannot have any electrical appliance, especially coffee pots, anywhere on the campus.

Now you're talking about a place where people are studying and they have built-in kitchens. You know, it's like, we'll solve this. Boom, with an elephant gun.

You think we got the gnat? And see, that's kind of how we do it. You know, we spray it, and we think, well, that person was in the room, so I'm sure they heard it.

It's like I'll yell at all my kids and hope the one that is really having the problem will catch this one. Fifth, it is not a one-time shot, and if they don't respond, well, I've done my duty. It must be persistent and increasing in intensity if it's to be effective. Jot down, if you will, 1 Thessalonians 2.11. Don't have time to develop an interesting word study where the Apostle Paul, talking about this discipling process of admonishment, first of all, he gives you the background that it comes out of a heart of love, and then he uses three different words where he says, we encouraged you, then we exhorted you, and then we urged you, and if you studied each one of those words very carefully, they go up in intensity.

They're very personal. In other words, when people don't catch it the first time, he said, whatever it takes, whatever it takes, I'm going to bring about the vice of intensity so that they get it. Well, this sounds kind of hard, doesn't it? Maybe we could skip over this one.

Let's major on honoring one another, loving one another, building up one another. I mean, do we really have to do this? But already, some of you are thinking, oh, it's Bob, it's Mary, it's my coworker. I've got to talk to my wife. You know what, we've got to sit down and talk with one of our kids, or you know what, we're involved in ministry with someone already, or I've got a close friend, and you know, she or he. And so right about now, your resistors are going up. You're trying to rationalize as you listen with one ear, you're rationalizing with the other ear, how can I get out of this?

I don't want to do this, right? So let me give you some biblical ammunition and some rationale why it's the most loving thing you'll ever do for another person. Why must we admonish one another?

First, this is pretty simple. It is a command. Colossians 3, 16. We're to be filled with the word of God, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, how I. So everyone matures in Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5, 14, it says, admonish, it's a command, the idol. Warn those who are unruly.

Second reason is because we all have blind spots. Psalm 19, 12, very interesting prayer. David's praying. As he prays there, he just stops and he says, Oh, God, forgive me for all my sins. And then he says, And those sins I don't know about, those presumptuous ones, those ones that I don't even know I have, forgive those too.

Do you realize you have those? I mean, you can sit before God, be totally open to God, and yet because of the way your psyche and your denial and your mind and all the struggles you have and I have, there are areas in your life that are not aligned at all with Scripture. They're in juxtaposition to what is true and what is right. And you don't see it. And so David prays, God, forgive me for even those. In Psalm 139, 23 and 24, he actually prays, Lord, search me and know me, test me, reveal.

If there's anything in my heart that doesn't align with you, if there's any wicked way, any evil way, would you show me? Because we don't always get it. And a blind spot, I mean a blind spot. I don't mean that you're trying to resist or you're trying not to see it.

I mean you can't see it. One of the pivotal points in my whole marriage almost 20 years ago was married less than a year. I was at Coco's.

I can always remember where I was. You know what? When you get hit right here with a bullet between the eyes, no matter how loving it produces in the long term, it hurts in the short term. And I'm working full time and going to school full time, and we just have Eric and Jason. They're both about seven. And I'm thinking, you know, I'm really busting it. I'm really going to treat the family. Coco's back then, for 99 cents, kids could eat a whole meal. You know, two eggs, bacon, and that's all we could afford.

So they could do that, and we could split a sandwich for under 10 bucks, get out of the place. And I mean, that's about as much we could ever afford to go out to eat. And so I'm thinking, I'm really a pretty neat guy, taking my family out to eat. I'm working full time. I'm going to school and really trying to love my wife. I'm listening to Howard Hendricks about how to be a better husband. So anyway, my wife's sitting on this corner, and the kids are now coloring.

Remember those days? And she turns to me and she said, you don't love me, do you? Excuse me, honey, my hearing aid must be off or something, and I don't wear one.

What? You don't love me, do you? I'm thinking, she checked, she went and got a lobotomy this morning. There's no one I love, you know?

And then this was my first experience. Then she talked about the carpet and the drapes and the leaky faucet and the stuff that was piled out the door and the shambles that apparently, from her perspective, our apartment was in. I mean, what in the world does your house, fixing up your house, have to do with loving your wife?

I mean, this was new material. I mean, this is not like, oh, I know you ought to do that as a good husband and I don't get it. Blind spot. Now let me ask you, what's yours? Wonder what it is that's keeping a roadblock in maybe one of the most intimate, important relationships in your life.

You don't see it. Do you realize that part of God's plan is someone else will see it, and if you could be open, if you could be tender to the Spirit's work, He will reveal that not only through His Word, but through another person and love you enough to bring about major life change. Tell you what, that turned our marriage around.

About putting me in the grave getting there, but it turned our marriage around. Third reason, not only is it a command, not only because of blind spots, but to become godly, holy, mature Christians. Great vision passage, Colossians 1, 28 and 29. It says, when we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man that we might present every man, every woman, every person complete in Christ. And Paul says, for this reason, I labor or work or struggle or agonize, literally.

It's an athletic term. Striving according to His power that mightily works within me. Proclaim evangelism. Once a person comes to Christ, teaching. Information, then admonishing, correcting.

Those three things have to happen for you to grow and for me to grow. You'll never become a mature Christian if you can't hear God speak through other people. Fourth reason is it cultivates deep, loving relationships. 1 Thessalonians 2, 8.

Apostle Paul said, it was our delight, not only did he give away to you the gospel, but our very selves. For you know that while we were among you, I was like a father with his children, like a mother nursing her babe. The deepest, deepest relationships you'll ever have will not be the people that always pat you on the back, tell you how great you are, ha ha, high five you. The deepest relationships you'll ever have are the people where over time they have freedom to speak into your life and you have freedom to speak into theirs. See, the test of love isn't patting people on the back and making them feel good all the time.

The test of love is wanting what's best for them so bad you're willing to risk the relationship. Now, as you're thinking about that person that God might just want you to be His voice to speak into their life, do you love Him? Do you love Him?

Do you love Him enough to tell the truth? This is Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and you've been listening to part one of Chip's message, How to Speak the Truth in Love, from our series, Love One Another. Chip will be back shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about.

We all remember the famous WWJD bracelets. You know, what would Jesus do? Well, stay with us as we explore how Christ answers that profound question by revisiting an excerpt from Chip's series, Love One Another. He'll delve into the book of Romans and focus on two specific ways we can show the love of Jesus to people, accountability and navigating conflict.

Learn how to be a truth-telling friend and gracefully handle friction in our relationships. To learn more about this entire series, visit LivingOnTheEdge.org. Well, our Bible teacher, Chip Ingram, is with me in studio here now to share a quick word.

Chip? Thanks so much, Dave. I want to ask you something really important. Would you choose to become a financial partner with us? Now, I'm not using that language to disguise the fact that I'm asking you to give or trying to be fancy or asking for money, but when you invest in this ministry, it's more accurately saying, Yes, I will partner with you.

Yes, I'll go to work with you. Yes, I want to be on this mission with you. When you give, you become a part of all that we do, a part of the hundreds of thousands of people hearing God's Word, a part of discipling new Christians and encouraging persecuted Christians in China and the Middle East.

It's a part of supplying teaching and training and resources to pastors right here in the U.S. So will you ask God what part He would give you in all of this and then just do whatever He shows you? If all of us do our part, however God leads, it'll be exactly what we need to fulfill exactly what God wants us to do. I want to thank you in advance for whatever God leads you to do, and thank you. Thanks so much for being a partner.

Thanks, Chip. We believe helping Christians really live like Christians will radically change the world we're living in. So if you'd like to join us in that mission, we'd love to have you on our team. To become a monthly partner, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org or call 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003 or visit LivingOnTheEdge.org.

App listeners, tap Donate. Well, with that, here again is Chip. As we wrap up today's program, I can literally, in my mind, see some of you with the wheels turning in your brain thinking, wow, do I really love so-and-so well enough to bring this up? I mean, I've seen it.

Everyone else sees it. We know it's going to bring pain, but I'm so afraid to do it. Could I remind you that the writer of the Proverbs tells us that better are the wounds of a friend than the kisses of an enemy.

Yes, tough love is hard, and yes, you do put the relationship at risk. Can I be honest with you? One of the things that has helped me to do this frequently and whenever God prompts me is I've had a couple situations where I didn't say anything and then I watched a marriage blow apart and I realized looking back, I should have stepped in. I mean, not like a month before, but like a couple years before.

I saw it rolling out and I did nothing. But let's remember that speaking the truth in love is not judging others by our standards. It's not being spiritually superior. It's not hitting people with truth bombs or becoming a junior Holy Spirit. It's not giving general vague statements like, hey, you know, I think you may want to sort of kind of check out something and it's never going to be a one-time thing. It's praying. It's getting honest. It's owning our own stuff.

It's being very, very humble and then it's going with a very tender heart and saying, you know, I care about you so much. Would you give me permission to share a couple things that I see in your life? You know, maybe I'm not right, but I see in your life and I think some bad things are going to happen if you don't address them. Would you give me permission to share that with you?

And, you know, sometimes they won't, but my experience is when you go with that kind of attitude, the Lord will open the door and you can actually save people from just tremendous pain and sometimes a whole life that's destructive. Now, let me ask you, who do you need to talk to? When are you going to do it?

And then I want you to set it up today. Let's act on this. If we will, God will work. Good challenge, Chip. And as we close, if you are in the midst of a painful season of life right now, we'd love to care for you.

Call us at 888-333-6003 and a team member would be happy to pray with you. That's 888-333-6003, or if it's easier, email us at chip at livingontheedge.org. That's chip at livingontheedge.org. Well, join us next time for more from Chip's series, Love One Another. Until then, I'm Dave Drouie, thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-28 04:25:12 / 2024-05-28 04:37:25 / 12

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