May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you. (1 Sam. 3:17)

IT”S ONE THING TO SPEAK the truth in love. It’s another to speak the truth in courage.

Occasionally someone will say, “Tell me the truth now. Don’t be afraid to be honest with me.” You will have to judge how serious the person is when he or she admonishes you to be completely honest, in spite of the consequences.

The Old Testament King Ahab called for his prophets to advise him about going to war. They told him that he should go for God would enable him to be victorious. Somehow Ahab doubted their word, so he called for Micaiah, even though the prophet had a reputation for bringing bad news.

When the king called for Micaiah, a messenger advised the prophet to tell the king what he wanted to hear. Micaiah first advised the king to attack, but the suspicious monarch demanded that he tell the truth. So Micaiah told him that Israel would be “scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd” (1 Kings 22:17). Then Ahab complained because Micaiah had given him bad news again.

The priest Eli was apparently sincere with Samuel in urging him to tell the truth and not to hide anything. Young Samuel summoned his courage and told the truth, in spite of its being unfavorable. Every Christ-follower needs to develop the ability to tell the truth with courage.

Speak the truth today, carefully, compassionately, and courageously.

Ron McClung lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife Carol. He has written his weekly column, Positive Perspective, for more than twenty-nine years.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.