Love Like That

Day 4 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Love Like That: Bold

If you want to love like Jesus, you can’t shy away from what you know is right and true. You can’t remain silent just to go unnoticed. Loving like Jesus is not for the chickenhearted. It requires a fierce commitment to being authentic. It requires a bold commitment to being a truth-teller.

As I study the life of Jesus—how he loved others in practical ways—the most startling quality I find is authenticity. While often serene and peaceful, he didn’t shy away from showdowns. He corrected his disciples. He spoke his mind. No one accused him of being a pushover—or winsome. He was a straight shooter. He didn’t dance around what needed to be said—he said it. He made others feel uncomfortable, if necessary. He never allowed truth to take a back seat to politeness. He never backed down from confrontation. . . .

Not only did he correct false teachings on numerous occasions, he boldly silenced the chief priests, scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees by putting them in their place with Scripture. He exposed their true motives. A self-seeking man boastfully promised to follow Jesus anywhere because he thought it would mean political or financial gain for him. Jesus corrected his wrong motives by telling him that he would be following a homeless Messiah. Jesus corrected Martha’s anxious heart by pointing to her sister sitting at his feet and listening to him. He basically said, “You should be more like your sister.” And while he had more tenderness and patience with his disciples, he sometimes rebuked and confronted their actions too.

In short, Jesus was the ultimate truth-teller. Courageous. Confident. Bold. He is a model for living authentically and honestly. . . .

Jesus didn’t speak the truth from a self-centered heart. He did it from within the context of pain for anyone who is missing the true message of God. His conviction was so powerful he couldn’t care less what others thought. His truth-telling came from deep and personal anguish for those who were hung up on superficiality, externals, and hypocrisy. He spoke truth to save them from themselves. He spoke truth from love.

When we separate love from truth-telling, we are trading genuineness for approval. We are trading boldness for cowardice. This creates a false and fleeting connection at best—about an inch deep. But when we risk rejection and get real, we begin to love more like Jesus.