It’s one of the most helpful aphorisms I ever heard, and I believe I heard it first from John Claypool: Truth without love is brutality; love without truth is sentimentality; the Lord wants always to hold truth and love together. And when we don’t? Well, just look around.
But how? It’s not as if we can simply decide to be people of truth and love, and then become so by sheer willpower. Yet the gospel is clear that in Jesus, whose very life defines truth and love, we, too, can become people of truth and love. And we stand most ready to receive such gifts when we take up particular disciplines. Two disciplines are particularly important for such readiness.
First, study. Study is the central discipline for becoming a person of truth, and the center of our study must be the scripture. Do you have a plan for scripture study, and are you working the plan? If so, truth will advance in your very being. An effective study discipline will also include learning from good teachers, of which there are many. There are also a lot of erroneous and trivial teachers. Check with one of the pastors or elders as you sift what is worth your while in study. God intends to work his truth into your very being!
And then service. Service is the key discipline for growing us in love. What do you do regularly for others that demands self-sacrifice? I go to the gym regularly, and that demands self-sacrifice, but I’m doing it for myself. Service is for others, and it’s the for others part that begins to reform our natural bent toward self-centeredness. From that soil love begins to grow.
Study and service are not the only means God provides for becoming people of truth and love, but they are key means. There are many who major in truth, and many who major in love. Either alone brings distortions to life. In Jesus both together bring life to distortions. How is that working for you?