Some of my favorite parts of this teaching by @whitneycapps
- 2 Kings 8
Have you ever had something hard to tell someone, but you really didn't want to? Hard truth is never easy to tell. -
It's hard to talk about sin that separates us from God and the judgment that is coming. Truth is truth, but it has to be handled rightly. That sounds good, right? But what does that look like when we are struggling to be truth-tellers? I think Elisha's example gives us three valuable lessons.
1st Elisha tells the whole truth. He doesn't just tell him what is expected or would please the king. He tells him the whole truth. Because we are called to be ambassadors of God's truth, not our own, we don't get editorial privilege. Truth-tellers need to be desperate to hear Him and committed to say whatever He asks us to say.
2nd Elisha doesn't seem deterred by what the truth might do. The message Elisha delivers will bring the murder of Ben-Hadad, King of Aram, the establishment of Hazael as King and ultimately the slaughter of countless men, women and children of Israel. Though Elisha cares, he does not let the fear or grief deter him from his assignment. Truth-tellers are responsible for the message, not the outcome.
3rd Elisha isn't disconnected from the truth he communicates. In the midst of the horror, betrayal, apostasy and judgment of 1 and 2 Kings. Elisha weeps for the plight of his people and the judgment that is coming.
Godly truth-tellers don't relish the chance to smack people around with the truth. Truth-tellers long to see truth do the work of repentance and reconciliation to God. Our tears may communicate grief or gratitude, but truth-tellers ought to be people of prayer having asked the Holy Spirit to give not just His message, but His heart for those who will hear it.
Messengers of God's truth rarely get to share ONLY good news. Even as ambassadors of the gospel, you and I are called to share the freedom of life in Christ. But that is only good news because apart from Jesus, our current situation and future destination are so, so bad. Remember Elisha’s example the next time we get that knot in our stomach signaling its time for some heard truth-telling.