September 27th – The Truth, but in Love

I came across this account of an incident in the life of Abraham Lincoln. Apparently Abraham Lincoln had a Secretary for War called Stanton, who was enraged at one of his officers for failing to carry out an order. It may have been disobedience, or not understanding the order, but it was, to Stanton, unforgivable. “I do believe, I must give him a piece of my mind” he ranted to Lincoln. “Do it” said the President, “Do it now while it’s hot in your mind – write it all down – make it sharp. Cut him down to size”. “I will” said Stanton, and immediately set about pouring out the most pungent rebuke any officer could receive. It was pointed and devastating, and he read it to Lincoln, who congratulated him on writing such a forthright letter. “Now” said Stanton “How shall I send it so there is no delay?”. “Send it?” said Lincoln – “You don’t send it. Now you tear it up. You’ve freed your mind of the subject, and that’s all that was necessary.”
I also have found that to write out my grievances against something or someone and put down on paper how I feel, does change the situation. I’ve invariably discovered also that having done so, to send the letter would cause me to feel somewhat guilty of going over the top. No wonder the New Testament makes such a big thing of speaking the truth – But In Love!
Listen to what Paul says when he calls on believers to grow up and abandon their tidal passions and storm-tossed opinions:”Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:15
Speaking the truth in love means that we grow up, and we grow together. In fact we are urged even to be angry, to feel the passion, but not to sin.Let’s hear more of Paul’s own words
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”; Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Ephesians 4:25-27
Take a moment, and think of people you have a grudge against, then pray for them, and for yourself.
A Prayer:
For the Passion of Jesus, for his blazing indignation in the face of injustice and the manipulation of vulnerable people, and for his holy anger against all corruption, we give you thanks, O Lord our God and Father and thank you that all his passion was an expression of his great, great love.
Now read Matthew 21: 12-17.

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