How do you answer that question? How do you answer it when it is being asked by the deaf mother of a 26 year-old woman who has fallen 15 stories to her death? Should the fact that this is the first time you have met the mother affect what you say? Should the information that the quiet young woman wrestled with drug addiction influence your response? Should your answer be colored by the fact that you will be conducting the funeral in 48 hours time?
We are all asked a variation of the question every day aren’t we? Every day of our lives people ask us to make a choice. A choice between telling them what they want to hear or telling them what we know God says in His Word. Sometimes, like on this occasion, the context is unbelievably hard. But surely the key to being able to speak the truth in real, genuine, tender love on such hard occasions is speaking the truth, gently and graciously, in the day to day simple issues. What’s the secret to doing that? What’s the secret to answering the daily ‘tell me what I want to hear’ questions that come our way? The secret is abiding in Christ. Daily dwelling in Him. For in doing so we are exposed to and immersed in both the truth that needs to be spoken and the love by which that truth must be conveyed. There simply isn’t any other way to cope when the real and emotionally hard question comes.