I think it’s wise to be skeptical when people talk about “the truth.” In this era (as in others) we are willing to kill for our ideas about truth. That’s why ideas about the truth are not enough. Telling the truth isn’t done through argument. We must meet the truth and walk with him.
The truth is a pathway. I’ve found that church planters win people’s trust when we tell the truth–humbly. Let me share with you some preaching tips I’ve found along the way.
Nurture: Early childhood teaches us to order our world around our experience. These experiences become a kind of foundational truth for us, whether right or wrong. Later, God’s grace comes to either affirm or contradict these foundations. This is why raising children is a sacred trust from the Father: the truth children learn creates the ability to recognize the Way, Truth, and Life when we meet him later.
Obedience: To understand something we must stand under it. This is why obedience is central to discipleship. Humble and simple acts of obedience position us to walk in reality. Obedience aligns us with the true nature of creation and the ways of the Creator. Obedience is going with the ultimate flow.
Discovery: Discovery is more than learning. The Father reveals truth by leading us to discovery. He hides the Easter eggs, careful to leave them where we can find them. He glories in concealing some things, and we become sons and daughters of the King as we search them out. As preachers, we must realize that telling the truth means helping others discover the truth.
Love: Real love is the sure path to telling the truth. But it is dangerous as well because we think we know what love is—but do we? Discovering the meaning of love is a lifelong task, and a worthy one. To be on the side of love is to be on God’s side, because God is love. To love is to see and do things God’s way. It never fails.
Jesus: The truth came into world and lived among us: “The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us . . . full of grace and truth.” This a dangerous way because the challenge of “Jesus-as-truth” is our powerful tendency to re-create Jesus to our taste and preference: Jesus the Republican, Jesus the non-violent, Jesus the Socialist—or Jesus in any form that merely affirms our own view of the world. He is both the path and destination: we must keep walking, humbly.
This article originally appeared here, and is used by permission.