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Love One Another - How to Speak the Truth in Love, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
May 29, 2024 6:00 am

Love One Another - How to Speak the Truth in Love, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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May 29, 2024 6:00 am

Sometimes the truth really HURTS! Getting straight talk from a friend is about as fun as getting a speeding ticket. But we all need people in our lives who will honestly level with us! Chip explains why it’s so important to be a truth-telling-best-friend.

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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You know it's been said that the most unpleasant truth is a safer companion than a pleasant falsehood.

You know we all have blind spots. We all need a friend, that person who's willing to tell us the truth. Today we're going to talk about how to be that person and how to receive the truth even when we don't want to hear it.

Stay with me. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Chip's our Bible teacher for this international teaching and discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. Well today Chip finishes his message, How to Speak the Truth in Love, from our current series, Love One Another. He'll continue unpacking why we must be gracious in giving and receiving correction, but how that only happens in close relationship built on trust. So if you want to learn more about that, here now is Chip with the second half of his talk from Romans chapter 15. 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? Fifth reason, and this gets right back into it, is because sin destroys a believer's life. We use this verse when we share the gospel. You know Romans 6 23, For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. The wages of sin is death. That's not true just theologically. That's not true just with regard to salvation. The price tag of sin is death.

What's death in the New Testament, the Old Testament? It's separation. It's alienation from God. You know when I sin against my wife it produces a distance. When I sin against God it produces a distance and then there's consequences.

If I see sin in your life or you see sin in my life, if you see my life going this direction and the scripture clearly says it should be going this direction, and you don't tell me, I'm going to end up in a ditch. I'm going to destroy my life. And you know what, it never just destroys me, but then the ripples. I destroy and mess up other people. Don't we all know that?

Don't we all have friends? We saw it coming. The marriage broke up. The partnership broke apart. The kid was going astray.

We didn't say anything and then bang, it destroyed them. Then other people, then other people, then other people. You see, admonition is God's antibiotic in the body of Christ. Sin is like an infection.

It's like cancer cells. Admonition needs to come early and hard and lovingly, bombard that infection with the antibiotic of God's truth spoken in love. You save people. Where would I be if someone didn't say, you're a lazy preacher. I'd still be giving lazy sermons and I'll tell you what, God wouldn't be using them the way He is now. Final reason is because we are members of one another. Romans 12, four and five says we are members of one another just like a human body. Once someone we respect crosses the line of scripture, not our standards, but of scripture unchecked. It's like a herd, like a herd of sheep we follow and the church loses its salt and its light. When sin is not dealt with, it soon becomes the status quo.

I mean, you've read the reports, right? One out of four Americans claims what? That they're born again in America.

How can this be? One out of four people in America claim they have a personal, life-giving, eternal relationship with Jesus Christ, who's a holy God, who's creator, who's all powerful. Now, I've only got one or two options on this. When I look at the divorce rate in America, the lack of integrity in America, the morals in America, the education in America, when one out of every four Christian is a Christian, is salt and light, there's only two options here. One, a lot of people lie, or they don't know what they're talking about, or the other, which I think, I think they're sincere.

They're not salty and they're not light. And somewhere along the line, this is the way it happens. You know, we all know, you know, the Bible says this, and that's wrong, and this is right, and then some respected leader or some group does that.

And we turn and think, gosh, I always thought that was wrong. That verse, oh, I guess maybe that verse doesn't mean what it just clearly says. Well, he's a leader, and that's a big organization, or that's an influential church, so guess what happens?

So people do it, and then people do it, and then people do it. And so we have a church full of people, instead of sharpening one another, to love and to good works and to holiness and to righteousness and to purity, we've got a whole group of people always looking at someone who's less holy and saying, you know, other Christians are doing this, other Christians watch that, other Christians do this with their money, other Christians let their kids do this, other Christians, and you know what we have? We've got a pathetic, sick, anemic church, that basically the driving pulse of the church in America of Jesus Christ is how individual Christians can be comfortable, can be happy, be self-fulfilled and get their needs met, and if this church doesn't do it, I'll find one that does. And the calling of the church of Jesus Christ is to be salt, to be light, to be leaven, to be holy, to be righteous, to be a kingdom of priests, to be other.

Not prudish, not down your nose at people, but in a winsome, godly, holy way, live a separate life. You know why that doesn't happen? Because there's not much antibiotic going on. All of us are telling our wives or our friends about things we see in people's lives, instead of telling them. Now, it's important, isn't it?

So, what have we said? We've said that this is really important, that God commands it, that it'll develop deep relationships, that we all need it, that it'll protect the church. Logical question is, let's see, God commands it, I need it, it'll help me, it'll help others. Why don't we do it? Let me give you three reasons.

Reason number one you already know about, don't you? Confrontation is difficult. Some of us would rather die than bring up tough stuff with people. We are peacekeepers instead of peacemakers. Peacekeepers, status quo, status quo, don't rock the boat, don't rock the boat, don't matter to me, like me, like me, like me, everything's okay, everything's okay. It's called pseudo peace.

That just means that you're putting wood on the fire, you're putting plutonium tubes into the reactor because, man, it's going to blow up. That's what peacekeepers do. Peacekeepers say, let's get it on the table, let's deal with this now, why it's small, why it's manageable. We hate confrontation. I hate confrontation.

I loathe it. Every time I know, oh, man, I've got to address this, I get a big knot in my stomach and then I usually can't sleep the night before. It's always 100 times bigger in my mind than now I've learned it really plays out to be. But after I've seen the havoc and the pain that not speaking the truth in love produces, I'll tell you what, I'm so committed to this, our staff would say, he is.

He's so committed to it, it's scary. I want to receive it and I want to give it because what I learned is the pain is too great when we don't. Second reason we don't do it is we feel inadequate. I mean, honestly, part of you are thinking, yeah, maybe I should, I see this in this person's life, but this is like what the kettle calling the pot black. I mean, who am I to speak into another person's life? I struggle with this and this and this and this. Well, I'm going to talk about that, but at least go through the logic. If you wait until you're perfect to speak into another person's life, when will you speak?

No time soon. Now, there's some competencies, prerequisites before you speak, but you're adequate. In fact, having to speak will cause you to grow. Third, we don't know how.

I think this is one of the big ones. When you feel it, you're emotional, you talk to them, I got to say something. But I don't know how. I just don't know how.

What do I do? We're going to tell you very specifically how to do it. So at this point, in that wrestling match in your mind, I'm praying that God's winning and that you're getting to the point where that person, that friend, coworker, that child, that person you're in ministry with, that person that's drifted away, that person that's involved in an illicit affair, that person that you know is struggling in an area, I'm praying that if you're right at the point now where you're saying, God, okay, I don't want to do this. You know I don't want to do it, but you commanded it.

This is the most loving thing I could do. God, if you'll show me how, I'm open, but I feel inadequate. What do you want to do in me first?

How prepared do I need to be? The question then becomes who is really competent to admonish? From Romans 15, 14, and from the rest of the New Testament, I think there's three characteristics. Before you go out and speak to anyone, these three things need to be a part of your life and your experience. First, it requires a life full of goodness.

Did you see that in the line? He says, I'm fully convinced that you are what? Full of goodness. This term in general means that we're living a holy, righteous life. The idea is that we're going to clean up our own act before we're going to move into another's life and clean up theirs. Now, a classic passage on this is usually misquoted and even worse, it's misapplied. Jesus' words. The culture's got this one down though. Matthew 7, right?

Three through five. Who are you, right? Who are you to take the speck out of your brother's eye when you have a log in your own eye, right? We've heard that. So anytime you go to anyone and you say, I really need to talk with you. I've observed some things and I don't mean they're my opinions.

I'm talking about this is black and white. This is really clear in the scripture. I want you to know I love you. And immediate response is, who are you to speak into my life? You know, read that passage this afternoon carefully, will you?

It's very interesting. It is a warning. It says, clean up your heart, your life, let God examine you, get the log out of your eye before you take the speck out of your brother or your sister's eye. You hypocrite, it goes on to say. Then you know what it says? The assumption is you will take the speck out of their eye. It is not never do that.

The actual application is just the opposite. Read it carefully. The application is deal with your own life first so that you will in fact take the speck out of their life.

So let me ask you, what is it that you need to deal with personally and privately before you go talk to that friend? Where is God speaking to you? Where you need to say, God, I'm sorry. I need to repent.

I need to deal with that so that I can go talk to them. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. And Chip will be back to continue today's message. But first, are you a dad or want to encourage a father figure in your life? Then stick around after the teaching to learn about a resource we've developed to help men be the dads their families need them to be. Keep listening for more details.

Well, with that, here again is Chip. The second requirement is not only a life full of goodness, but it requires a life filled with knowledge. Same passage, Romans 15, 14. The idea here is that you're filled with God's Word. We must be careful to admonish with regard to the absolutes of Scripture, not in areas that are extra biblical. When you go and talk to someone, this can't be your opinion about something.

You know, I really don't think that these kind of fashions and those kind of fashions or those kind of shoes or whether you ought to wear lipstick or not and all that jazz. This is about knowing God's Word and in very clear black and white biblical issues you speak into people's lives. I did a little word study. Let me give you 12 or 15 specific areas in the New Testament where we have examples. If you want to know like where do we have freedom to admonish? Concerning false teachers, Acts 20, 21.

When people are involved in any kind of false teaching or false teaching is moving in, we ought to step in. Concerning false doctrine, 2 Timothy 4. Concerning disunity in personal relationships, Philippians 4.

When people are at each other's throat, we need to step in. Concerning immoral behavior, 1 Corinthians 5. Concerning diligence in corporate and individual prayer or the study of God's Word.

You see people sliding in those disciplines. Concerning the health and well-being of another, 1 Timothy 4. Paul says, hey Timothy, let me admonish you. You know, you need to get your diet right because I'm concerned about your health. There may be someone you say, you know what, what you're drinking, what you're putting in your body or how you're working is killing you.

I love you. I'm going to speak to you. Concerning boldness and identifying with Christ, 2 Timothy 1, 7 and 8. Concerning how to relate to the opposite sex both before and after marriage, 1 Corinthians 7. Concerning perseverance and endurance through trials when people are ready to give up, 2 Timothy 4, 4, James 1. Concerning materialism and money, 1 Timothy 6. Concerning the use or the neglect of your spiritual gift, I got that one. Concerning gossip, spreading rumors, giving false or misleading or malicious reports, 1 Peter 2. Concerning pride or arrogance in a person's life, 1 Corinthians 4.

Concerning the loving of the brethren. Those are all black and white issues. Those are issues that when you see them in my life, you have a moral responsibility to come and say to me, Chip, I see materialism creeping into your life or at least I see some things I don't understand. Chip, I see arrogance or pride creeping into your life as evidenced by these comments that you made. Chip, I have this inkling of immoral behavior in light of seeing you walk out of that building, that building with this woman that I didn't know.

Now, you know, tell me it's your sister and tell me you were sharing Christ in there, fine. You get it? But you've got to be filled with the Word. Finally, and I think this is the most important, you can err almost anywhere.

Don't err here. The third characteristic is it requires a heart filled with love. It's the whole passage, Romans 15, 14, he says brothers. 1 Corinthians 4, 14, he admonishes them and he says, Not to shame you, but as, listen, as beloved children. Acts 20, 31, when he's talking with these elders and he's warning them and he's admonishing, he says, You remember when I was with you how night and day with tears I did it out of love. 2 Thessalonians 3, 15, as a brother. Ephesians 6, 4, as a father does children. Well, we're at that point where let's talk about how to do it.

I believe by this time there's probably most of you are at least pondering or thinking about someone you really love. You know there's an area in their life that if it continues, it will destroy them. It may destroy a family. It will mar the testimony of Christ. It will bring destruction into their life. And God will not use them.

It will completely render them useless if unchecked. So how do you do it? Let me just give you a real step-by-step plan. First, examine your own life.

Okay? Examine your own life. Get before God.

Get alone. Get your Bible open. Say, God, if there's something that I need to address before I talk with them, show me. Sit quietly.

He'll show you. Second, examine the Word. Whatever the issue is, you don't go to people with vague.

You go to them. What helped me was every time people have admonished me, that have really helped me, they shared a passage. The authority is not you and your opinions.

The authority is Scripture. You come alongside as a brother or sister. I care. And you say, I care about you. And see this truth right here?

What I perceive so far is your life doesn't align with that truth. And you show them the truth. You read it to them. Lovingly, caringly. Third, examine your motives. On our staff, we have a little saying. If you can't say it in love, don't say it.

Keep praying until you can. That doesn't mean you get off the hook. If you're angry and hacked off, which, by the way, often is how you start off with people, right? I'm angry and hacked off because she said this and she said this. And you realize they've got a major problem in their life.

So, you don't get to go until you go because your one goal is you care about them. Fourth, set a time to meet privately. Don't get all fired up about this and bumped into them in the hall and say, hey, by the way, people everywhere, I'd like to really admonish you. Don't do that. Five, ask specific questions to confirm data and disarm the situation.

Sometimes you do have data and it may look one way, but ask a few probing questions before you make some fiat statements. I remember once a staff member came into my office and looked around, kind of shut the door, and this is sort of how I remember it in my mind. It may not be quite as big, but it was kind of funny. And he looked around and said, could I talk to you just a second? I said, yeah. He said, boy, that's a nice picture of your wife over there and your kids over here. And he kind of looked at me with, who's this real pretty girl right up here?

I mean, right out here, who's this woman in your office? And it was like, you know, I really think this is inappropriate. I mean, I said, it's my sister. And then I said, thanks, I appreciate it.

I think she's kind of cute, too, you know. But you know what? It sent a message and he was asking a question to confirm the data. See, that's what you got to do. Because you may find out they were sharing Christ in that bar.

Or that was an innocent relationship. So ask before you leap in. Six, tenderly point out the sin. Show them the scripture that applies to them.

Open your Bible. Show them. Seventh, if possible, develop a game plan, timetable, and follow-up meeting for support and follow-through. Now, I say if possible because now, I'm going to warn you. My experience is against this. My experience is whenever you really love someone and you go in love and you go in tears and you really care, 90% of the time, the response is very, very positive, but not always. See, the issue is not how they respond. That's not your responsibility.

The issue is, will you do what God wants you to do? What they do with the truth spoken in love is their responsibility. But if possible, you don't go just to dump it and say, well, good, now you got it. But then you say, okay, what's a game plan?

What's a timetable? It may not even be you, but who could help you deal with this area? Do you need to get into Bible study or there's a group of men or a group of women working on this? How do you help the person? The goal is to love them, bring them into line with God's will and get help.

Not for you to say, boy, I'm glad that's over. Conclusion, admonition is God's antibiotic for the church. Done biblically, done biblically, it is the most loving thing you can ever do for all concerned.

Now, let me give you an action step. You ready? Is there someone who needs to hear a word from God through you in your relational network? Yes or no? Just yes or no? Is there or not?

I mean, don't fade, no, oh, maybe, or sort of no. Is there someone whose life is in juxtaposition to what is the clear will of God? Now, whether you're going to do it is another issue, but is there someone today, right now, that needs to hear from you? Yes or no? No, I'll think about it later.

No, I mean, right now, is there or not? Second, do you love them enough to speak to them this week? Yes or no? I mean, you could be honest and say, no, I don't love them that much. I don't want to risk the relationship.

I want to keep it superficial. You know, if they're destroyed, if things happen, well, I can live with that, but I don't want the rejection. Okay, but yes or no? Do you love them enough to speak to them or not? Kind of trapping you with these questions, aren't I?

By design and without apology. You could save a marriage. You could save a person's life. You could save a person's job.

You could save a future. You could transform the entire course of a person's life if you loved them enough to admonish them. Final question, with God's help, are you willing right now, today, to commit to pray, examine your own life, and then fill in the day this week that you're going to go talk to? You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and the message you just heard, How to Speak the Truth in Love, is from our series Love One Another. Chip will join us in studio to share some insights from today's talk in just a minute. 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 Well, Chip's in studio now with a quick word. Hey, before I come right back and give some practical application to today's message, this is a word for men. You're leading a men's group where you hang out with a bunch of guys or you're a pastor, associate pastor, and what you know is when men are growing spiritually, when men are leading their home, great stuff happens. And what you also know is it's a journey and it's really hard and it's really difficult. And so what I want you to know that's available in Father's Day's A Good Time is we put a little booklet together called The Portrait of a Father, How to Be the Dad Your Kids Need. It's a quick read, about an hour, maybe a little bit more. It's going to give you the four specific roles that God calls you and me to be as a dad, a priest, a leader, a lover, and a teacher. And I'll tell you how to do that with very specific ways.

Here's what I know. It was so hard to learn how to be a dad, but as I learned and as I got some other guys around me to help me learn, my kids are different today. They came out completely different because God showed me what He expected of me and how He would give me the power and the grace to be that kind of dad. Perfect?

No way. But I made progress. That's what I want for you. And in fact, we so want you to do it with others. We discounted it so that you can buy two, five, ten, twenty copies and get it to a lot of people to help them too. To order your copy of Chip's book Portrait of a Father, go to or call us at 888-333-6003. We hope this book will encourage every dad to be the man his kids desperately need him to be. And as Chip just said, we've discounted this resource so you can get as many as you need for either your men's group or your entire church. Also, if you want to get this as a Father's Day gift, place your order by June 7th to receive it in time. To get your hands on Chip's book Portrait of a Father, visit or call 888-333-6003.

Atlas Nurse Taps special offers. We'll hear again as Chip with that application we promised. Well, as we wrap up today's program, I'm guessing a lot of us have had a very specific person come to mind that we actually need to say, hey, let's get coffee, we need to catch up, and there's a few things I want to share with you. Admonition is God's antibiotic for the church. Done biblically, it's the most loving thing you'll ever do for those you care about.

So let me give you a quick review about the process that we talked about, okay? Number one, examine your own life. Okay, make sure this isn't something that is unaddressed in your life and that you're really saying I'm doing this for the right reason before God. Number two, examine God's word.

What's the standard? What are you going to say? What does the scripture say about this? Number three, examine your motives. Be really, really careful.

Why are you doing this? Step number four, set a time to privately meet with them. Step number five, begin by asking specific questions to confirm and disarm.

You want to be a loving, caring friend who's probing and pulling out the truth. And then number six, tenderly point out the sin. Show them the scripture that applies to them.

And when I say show them the scripture, I don't mean that you throw it at them like a dart, like see, here's where you're wrong. But there's a tenderness in your heart. You see, this is what God says in every command. He wants your good.

He wants you to get back on His path so He can bless you. And then the final step, if possible, sit down with them and develop a game plan. So are you ready? Who's the person that you're going to bring God's love to in a delicate, like a surgeon, you know, like a surgeon who uses a scalpel not to hurt, but to bring healing and restoration? Oh God, this is so hard for us. Will you help each one of us have that meeting and have that talk to help save and restore these people that we love? Amen.

Amen. Thanks, Chip. And before we go, the points he just reviewed come right from his message notes, a great resource to help you get the most out of every program. You'll get Chip's outline, the scripture he references, and lots of fill-ins to help you remember what you hear. So before you listen again, let me encourage you to download Chip's message notes at under the broadcasts tab, app listeners tap fill-in notes. Well, for Chip and the entire team here, this is Dave Druey thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge, and I hope you'll join us next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-29 04:21:32 / 2024-05-29 04:33:24 / 12

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