Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

Mission Musings


Speaking Truth with Love

Hillary Taylor is a Mission Intern with Global Ministries serving with Branches, a social justice and economic empowerment ministry of the South East District of the Florida Annual Conference. What follows is a blog post from her first term of service in South Africa.

Hillary Taylor (left) with Mazwenkosi Nomxego, a seminarian at Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Hillary Taylor (left) with Mazwenkosi Nomxego, a seminarian at Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Photo: Philppa Cole

I recently visited an agency that ministered to disfigured children. The agency’s owner (let’s call him “Allen”) has done wonders for these children, but his work is drawn from anger rather than love. He’s angry about cultural practices that disfigure the children, as well as South African society’s ignorance to such abuse.

As a missionary, I think often of ministry’s dangers. When one works with the poor and marginalized, it’s easy to become disheartened with the sinful state of humanity. Anger can lead to hatred. When we begin to hate, suffering is inevitable.

Because “Allen” cannot let go of his hatred, he alienates people from his ministry rather than attracting them, thus affecting support for the children. He’s lost sight of how Jesus drew all types of followers to ministry—by speaking truth with love.

Speaking truth with love doesn’t mean we can’t get angry; it means we don’t allow our anger to control us. It means guiding newcomers to ministry with a reassuring hand, while being honest about reality. Truth without love is brutality, while love without truth is sentimentality.

Jesus engaged others by revealing personal stumbling blocks (Matthew 19: 21-23), but he did not condemn their choice to turn away from discipleship. It is the same for us when our hearts are hardened. Being engaged with truth and love leaves us open to change our minds about ministry. It also helps us testify to the power of love.

Related Stories

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week
The Global Health Unit works with faith communities and partners to coordinate a global response to drug and alcohol abuse and dependency.
GetAttachmentThumbnail.jpg
Global Mission Fellows: From Everywhere to Everywhere
Whether participating in a program to raise awareness of social issues, networking with others around the world, volunteering in a clinic, or dedicati ...
Receiving New Family and Friends
Global Mission Fellow Hezekiah Samwini experiences Christmas in new ways while working far away from his home in Ghana.
GetAttachmentThumbnail.jpg
A Call and Challenge to Lead
The call and challenge to lead does not come in the forms and ways usually associated with leadership – having a group of people listen to you and wai ...
Generation Transformation: Online Application Goes Live Sept. 30
On September 30, Global Mission Fellow applications will be available online through March 3, 2017. Be among the first to apply!