I Truth You
“Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — he then said to the paralytic — “Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” Matthew 9:5-6
Honestly, it’s easy to write a blog about faith and recovery every morning while sitting in my recliner, overlooking the lake, drinking my coffee. I enjoy getting up early every day and I’m doing my reading/praying/meditation time anyway, so the blog isn’t much of a sacrifice. It takes much more energy though to meet with a struggling addict over coffee, listening to his story and sharing mine. It doesn’t take much intelligence to realize which one makes more of a difference to the addict. I may think the he needs the information offered in my blog, but before he’s willing to listen, it often takes some investing in his life.
I’ve often heard those in church say something like this: The most loving thing we can do for anyone is to tell them the truth. While the gospel may be the most important thing we can tell someone, this line of thinking equates truth with love, excusing the one saying it from ever getting his hands dirty by actually loving anyone. Love and truth are not the same though. It means something very different to say, I truth you.
In today’s story, a paralytic was brought to Jesus. Christ told him his sins were forgiven, which was probably pretty disappointing. Uh, thanks Jesus. I mean, I was hoping to walk, but forgiveness is nice too, I guess. The religious leaders were unimpressed as well, believing Jesus to be blaspheming. To prove himself, Jesus healed the man, revealing his authority to the scribes and showing his love to the paralytic.
To be clear, forgiveness was the most important thing that happened to the paralytic that day. To get through to him though, Jesus did whatever he could to communicate his love. The paralytic got what he most wanted, but he also got what he desperately needed.
If we truly care about those around us, then we will not just hit them over the head with the truth, but we will also share with them the love that God has shown us. Often, love is the key that opens the door to sharing what God has done for us all.