Blending Truth with Love

Recently a pastor came to Clear Choice Clinic to lead devotions with our staff. He encouraged us to remember the importance of always blending truth with love when counseling those we serve. That the truth without love can feel harsh and judgmental, but love (grace) without sharing hard truths is disingenuous. That lesson became reality later in the week when a young woman came to the clinic for STD screening. Her nurse assessed the patient’s risk, and shared with her the danger she was exposing herself to, based on her lifestyle. The young woman became very defensive, and gave a scathing review in which she stated that “abstinence is not a legitimate medical recommendation” and that it was “her business” how she lived her sexual life. Clearly, she was offended (and challenged!) by the truth. And yet, her last comment on the exit survey said simply, “The nurse was incredibly kind.” I consider this a big win. It was vital for this young woman, whose lifestyle was extremely destructive, to hear the truth. But even when she didn’t like what she heard, she clearly felt the love with which the truth was extended. The Bible tells us, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” (Romans 12:9) On that day, and countless others, we were given the opportunity to share the truth with love. And when we do that, with every effort toward showing the love of Christ, we win.