Speaking the Truth
Sabbath School Lesson 2017 Quarter 3 Lesson 9 Thursday
Read first paragraph,
“The expression “speaking the truth” often has negative connotations, especially in our day and age, when it can be viewed as a hard-hitting, no-holds-barred, spare-no-enemies tactic of telling someone the facts, no matter how unpleasant or unwanted they may be. If it were not for Paul’s comments in Galatians 4:12-20 and a few other comments scattered throughout his letter (see Gal. 6:9, 10), one might mistakenly conclude that Paul’s interest in the truth of the gospel outweighed any expression of love. Yet, as we’ve seen, though Paul was concerned about the Galatians knowing the “truth of the gospel” (see Gal. 2:5, 14), that concern arose because of his love for them. Who hasn’t experienced personally just how painful it can be to have to chastise someone or in plain terms speak truths to them that — for whatever reason — they don’t want to hear? We do it because we care about the person, not because we want to cause hurt, though at times the immediate effect of our words is hurt or even anger and resentment against us. We do it anyway, because we know it is what the person needs to hear, no matter how much he or she might not want to do so.”
Have you ever had the experience of speaking the truth to someone who doesn’t want to hear it?
When do we speak the truth and when do we stay silent?
Jesus said to disciples he had much to tell them but they couldn’t bear it at that time.
Is there only one truth or are there many truths?
Is truth dependent upon the developmental level of the person?
Is it true to a small child that they must brush their teeth or else they will get in trouble with their parent? But is that really true?
How many so-called truths do people hold about God that are like this, only true because of their level of understanding, but in eternal reality not true?
Was it true that the Law of Moses called for the stoning of a person who commits adultery? Was it true that stoning the woman caught in adultery and thrown down before Jesus would have been against God’s will? How can both be true?
Context—why was is true in Moses day, but not true in Christ’s day?
Truth is unfolding, our capacity to understand truth and comprehend it increases as we utilize our ability to understand and assimilate truth, and as a species truth slowly is assimilated, but typically new truth is resisted and fought against by the establishment:
Most medical advances met with opposition by those in authority
o washing of hands before surgery
- Germ theory and sterilization of equipment
Religious truth typically meets with opposition
- Galileo and earth revolving around the sun
- The truth about God’s design law versus imposed law
Imagine you could travel back in time to the 14th century and bubonic plague was ravaging the land. You know that this is caused by a bacterial infection spread by fleas. Both the religious and medical leaders taught the people this was punishment from God, it was evil due to sin.
What do you think would happen if you began to try and teach people there were invisible living organisms that were infecting their bodies causing this illness that you could prevent by good hygiene and flea control?
Do you think the church leadership would have been relieved to hear that God was not punishing the people? Would this truth have been immediately embraced? Why not? What would cause people to hold to the lie?
Pride, power, authority and a preconceived system of beliefs.
Do we struggle with the same thing today?
There are four stages to acceptance of new truth:
- Truth is initially rejected or ignored
- Then it is ridiculed or mocked
- Then it is fought against, attacked, lectured against
- Then it is accepted as self-evident
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