The Unfortunate Consequences of Speaking Truth
And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand. — Acts 4:1-4
This short After Actions Report is a reminder that some people will hear the truth and accept it, and others are going to hear it and reject it.
But I think sometimes we're afraid to speak the truth, not because we don't know it, but only because we are afraid of the consequences. Because the truth, and speaking the truth, has consequences every single time.
Just consider Peter. Peter had been in this moment before. Just 50-days prior, in the High Priest's courtyard, he denied being associated with Jesus because he knew speaking the truth had social consequences on his life. The risks at that moment were not worth the unforeseen rewards. And because he was paralyzed by fear — he lied. But 50-days later, Peter is a different man. He's less fearful. He knows the risks. He knows the rewards. He knows the consequences. And at this national celebration, instead of denying Christ, he defends him. And guess what. It has consequences. Both bad and good. But he is ready to embrace them both for the sake of God's truth.
For too long, I think we as followers have been scared of speaking God's truth. We have become increasingly fearful of the social consequences. We are afraid of being censored and canceled by a world that perpetuates untruth through hyperbole and hate. We have become afraid that we will be labeled intolerant, bigoted, hateful, racist, self-righteous, or arrogant. And yes, this might happen, for at times God's truth will offend or be misundertood. But when we speak God's truth, in his time, and on his behalf, there are also other consequences. Good consequences.
Just consider this.
Peter stood up and spoke twice in Acts 2-3. These two talks happen back to back within a short period of time. The first time he speaks, 3000 believe and are saved. The second time he speaks, 5000 believe and are saved. And these approximately 8000 new believers were about to travel back to their homes all over the land of Israel, spreading this Good News. So, yes, speaking the truth has consequences.
So do this. Speak up for truth today. But not for your truth. Speak up for God's truth. Be bold. Be brave. And trust God, not just with his truth but the consequences of his truth in the life of others. You never know. What you say today might impact the lives of others tomorrow.
ASK THIS: What truth do you need to tell another today?
DO THIS: Speak it, but say it God's way. (What's the truth you are going to tell. Share it below).
PRAY THIS: God, may I speak the truth today. And help me to say it the way you want me to.
PLAY THIS: You Make Me Bold — Amanda Cook.
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