Summary: This is the last sermon in the series and focuses on learning to speak the truth in love.
A. There’s a story told of a four-year-old boy who came out of the bathroom screaming to his mother for help.
1. Startled, his mother ran to him asking, “What’s wrong?”
2. The little boy answered, “I dropped my toothbrush into the toilet.”
3. She calmed him down saying, “That’s okay. I will get it out of the toilet. We will throw it away and I will get you a new one.”
4. The boy stood their thinking for a moment, then ran into the bathroom and came out with his mother’s toothbrush.
5. He said, “Then we better throw this one out too, because it fell into the toilet a few days ago!”
B. The truth is an interesting thing, isn’t it?
1. The truth can be distasteful and hard to hear…The truth can hurt.
a. That was true in the case of the mother’s toothbrush.
2. Nevertheless, we want people to tell us the truth, don’t we? Well, kind of...
3. But when do we want to know the truth?
a. As soon as possible, right?
b. Consider again the case of the toothbrush, sooner would have been better than later.
C. Let’s contrast two famous sayings about the truth.
1. One of them is from the movie called A Few Good Men.
a. There’s a scene in the movie where Tom Cruise, who was a military lawyer, is cross examining Jack Nicolson, the base commander, and a Colonel, in a military courtroom.
b. Cruise was trying to get Nicolson to tell the truth about the orders he had given about a certain situation.
c. With much intensity, Cruise shouted, “I just want the truth!” Nicolson barked back, “You can’t handle the truth.”
d. In reality, the truth can be hard to handle.
e. And like the ostrich, some people would rather put their head in the sand and ignore the truth than to have to face it.
f. How about you? Does the saying “you can’t handle the truth” apply to you?
2. The other famous saying about the truth comes from Jesus.
a. In John 8:32, Jesus said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
b. Lies and falsehood keep us in bondage, but the truth leads to freedom.
c. But that doesn’t mean that the truth-enabled path to freedom is an easy one.
D. So you might be asking what all of this has to do with love.
1. This sermon is our last one in our All You Need Is Love sermon series.
2. I hope you have benefitted from the series as much as I have!
3. It has been a rich three month journey for me, and I’m a little sad it is coming to a close.
4. But I’m sure the subject of love is one we will return to repeatedly in the future, because love is the key to everything.
E. Let’s return one last time to 1 Corinthians chapter 13, verses 4-6 – this is where we have found many of the characteristics of love we have been learning about.
1. The Bible teaches: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth (1 Cor. 13:4-6).
2. Today, we want to focus on the last phrase.
3. Here is how the verse is rendered in a few other translations:
a. Love…does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out (NLT).
b. Love…is always glad to side with truth, and pleased that truth will win (ISV).
c. Love…takes pleasure in the flowering of truth (The Message).
4. The characteristic of love we want to wrestle with today is: love speaks the truth.
F. When Gary Chapman was doing research for the book Love as a Way of Life, a book I have been using as a resource for this sermon series, he asked numerous people to give him the name of someone they considered a loving person.
1. Once they identified a person or persons, he then asked, “What about that person leads you to conclude that he or she is a loving person?”
2. Most of the answers he received fell into the characteristics we have discussed in this series – the person is loving because they are kind, patient, forgiving, humble, and courteous.
3. But a significant number of the respondents also indicated that the person was loving because he or she would tell the truth even when the other person didn’t want to hear it.
4. The respondents said things like:
a. “A casual acquaintance may tell you what you want to hear, but a true friend will tell you what you need to hear.”