The Greatest of These Is Love
Honesty … Every relationship that is characterized by the “love” which the Bible speaks about must be based on radical honesty … “radical” because it is so rare in our world today. Sin, which is always rebellion against God, causes untold pain, separation and division among people in every area of life, and even within the Body of Christ. And one of the most often overlooked sins committed against one another as brothers and sisters in Christ is the lack of loving honesty! Jesus understood the heart of mankind like no one else and He knew that conflict would arise among those who were His disciples. It had already done so among His own disciples as they debated about who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Desiring to prepare them for such conflict Jesus teaches them and us a way to avoid division: honesty! Jesus calls for a radical honesty that confronts sin in its very early stages, seeking to lead the parties involved toward loving reconciliation, thus avoiding the inevitable escalation of a conflict left unattended. The steps themselves are easy to understand, yet difficult at times to do. We prefer to believe that sin, and the rebellion that lies behind it, will somehow take care of itself. Resolution might just happen without the type of confrontation Jesus calls for. But Jesus reveals here not only the need for confrontation, but also the desired result: forgiveness and restoration. This, then, is the goal of love for one another, and it is toward this goal that we must strive … doing that which may be uncomfortable in order to accomplish the greater goal of oneness with one another. May God give us wisdom and strength to pursue the goal through our honesty with one another!