Last weekend we had our second Communion Wine Co. weekend retreat in Oregon. These weekends are a time to gather people together around wine to experience Jesus in new ways. It’s a great opportunity to have a safe space to work through our faith and recenter everything on Jesus. And I love where the conversations naturally go.
One of the phrases I heard this weekend was a line that had been told to one of the participants. The phrase was: “The truth at any cost.” It was used in a way that felt judgmental and exclusive. The problem with the phrase is that we often decide which truth matters more than something else another person believes. We tend to use it in a far more subjective way than is realized.
Now this line may sound catchy, but it isn’t something Jesus ever said. It certainly isn’t something He lived by either… and He would have been the only one of us clearly able to objectively put the truth above all else. By contrast, if we were trying to find something similar that Jesus actually did model, it would likely be: “Love at any cost.”
This doesn’t mean that Jesus didn’t care about the truth. It just means He was guided by love and that love was the truest thing in the world (see John 8:1-11 as a great case in point). We can pursue both truth and love as well—but like Jesus—we need to know which one comes first.
Jesus lead with love before truth. That’s why He said this:
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”Matthew 22:37-40
Jesus said that love is the abridged version of all the law and the prophets. In case you’re thinking that Jesus also said the truth will set us free (John 8:32), notice that was after He told us we’d be disciples if we follow His teachings (John 8:31)… to love God and others.
I submit that whichever of these two phrases guides your life will dramatically shape the form of your relationships with others. Truth above all will lead to alienation from others and a sense that we have what others don’t. Love above all will constantly require us to put others first and put our own sense of things aside for the benefit of those around us. One will push us away from others and the other will draw us closer.
‘Love at any cost’ is a much better way to live than ‘truth at any cost.’'Love at any cost' is a much better way to live than 'truth at any cost.' Click To Tweet