“Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16)
The Bible tells us we should speak the truth, but this is not always easy. Others might not appreciate our honesty. Telling the truth may harm our reputation, our friendships, or our career.
The apostle Paul was in such a situation: he saw how some believers in Corinth were being deceived by false teachers, and told them the plain truth about their theological mistakes. He knew they would be grieved by his words. But their eternal well-being was at stake, and therefore Paul used harsh words to correct their false and deceptive teachings. The effect was that those people indeed repented, which was cause for great joy, both for them and for Paul: “I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting.” (2 Corinthians 7:9)
It is wise to pay attention if others speak the truth to us, even though it might be painful for us to hear. “The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise”, the book of Proverbs teaches us.
Have you recently been in a position where speaking the truth was difficult? Did you do it anyway?