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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

On Seeing, Speaking, and Hearing

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. (Proverbs 17:17 NIV).

Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble. (Proverbs 17:17 The Message). 

First I would like to share with you the personal card I recently had printed.

The Scripture readings from Proverbs says that a friend loves at all times (through all kinds of weather). There was a popular song during the 60s with the words "what the world needs now is love, sweet love." While unconditionally believing in the truth of this message, I have always winced at the phrase "sweet love." I react this way because I know full well that love cannot always be "sweet" if this means innocuous—kindness cannot always mean candy. It must also at times be flat-out honest. Otherwise, it is not love at all. This honesty can be called for in regards to others and most particularly in regards to oneself. Love never can be represented by the three silences of "hear no evil; see no evil; speak no evil" when evil does not refer to sin so much as simple, obvious, and sometimes painful truth. The need is for intrepid honesty in facing, speaking, and hearing the truth. Say what you will about the contentious divisions that sometimes rack our society, it is undeniably important that people be honest with those they respect (and love) as fellow citizens even when, especially when, this causes controversy. The Scripture says that "perfect love drives out fear." That is a good thing to remember when we feel constrained to be dishonest about significant matters with those we love.

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