When I look at this quote I can’t help but think this is the way I need to feel when it comes to speaking the truth about God’s Word and sin. There are going to be times in my life where I might have to say something to people I love that may cause them to be angry with me. As a Christian I can honestly say I would rather go through my life being hated by someone for speaking the truth than go through life with the guilt of knowing what will happen to them in the future if they do not change their ways. I believe the true measure of our love for someone comes for placing our concern for them over our concern ourselves and if I am more worried about whether or not someone likes me than I am about their well-being for eternity I am being selfish and do not truly love that person.
The Bible offers an example to consider on this topic in Galatians chapter 2 starting in vs 11-21.
11 Now when Peter[a] had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.
14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you[b] compel Gentiles to live as Jews?[c] 15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
17 “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
It probably wasn’t easy for Paul to rebuke a fellow apostle but he knew it must be done. Paul’s love for Peter would not allow him to let Peter continue on playing the hypocrite. He was willing to put his love for over his concern for possibly “Hurting his feelings in the short term.”
We must all be willing to show our love for others by not allowing them to continue in sin even if it harms our relationship with them here on earth. Our concern must always be for their spiritual well-being first and foremost.
Consider these final thoughts on speaking the truth no matter how difficult.