Dr. Jeremiah Johnston visits with Matt Brown, author of “Truth Plus Love: The Jesus Way to Influence.”
Brown says the mark of every Christian should be the fruit of the Holy Spirit, evidenced through love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galations 5:22-23). “People are going to be drawn to a Christian who is full of these things,” Brown said. “We should be able to see growth and change in our knowledge and lifestyle, and evidence of the new creation. Who doesn’t want to be around someone like this?”
While love should be the preeminent quality of believers, truth is just as important. Diluting the message of the Gospel in order to avoid offending strips it of influence, Brown says. “The truth of God’s Word is where the power is,” he says. “We’re unplugging the power cord if we move away from God’s Word and the power to save.”
Balancing love and truth is particularly important in modern times, when everyday people have a megaphone through social media and technology. Brown advises rereading key passages such as I Corinthians 13 in order to be transformed.
In being obedient, believers can walk in their callings by choosing faith-filled actions, Brown says. “Take steps toward what you feel you’re called to do. Your purpose is probably what God has put in your heart,” he says. “We don’t get there overnight, but go in that direction. Find ways to say, ‘How can I make a difference?’ Allow God to do what only He can do. But, you’ve got to do what you can do.”
Johnston agrees: “Say ‘yes’ when God is calling you at every opportunity.” In finding one’s purpose in life, the Bible is the starting point, he says. “So often, people think that Christianity is irrelevant or not necessarily an answer for the questions that we have today, but the Bible shows us that the Christian faith is relevant and there are answers available to us.”
Matt Brown is an evangelist and author. His book, “Truth Plus Love: The Jesus Way to Influence,” released in April 2019.