by Erin Bird

Remember that famous song Lean On Me? It was the only #1 hit Bill Withers had (all the way back in 1972), but it has become a classic.

While I hope Riverwood will be the type of church where we can truly lean on each other, that’s not what I am going to write about today. We are in the middle of a series here on the blog about The Riverwood Way, and this week we are going to be talking about “leaning.” However, instead of leaning on me, I want to encourage you to lean on Jesus by leaning on His truth.

Leaning on the Truth

Here’s how we put it in The Riverwood Way:

“While we lead with grace, we will always lean on truth – it is our foundation. And we believe the most important truth is found in the 66 Books of the Bible.”

That sounds good on paper (or on a website). But when someone tries to live that out, it can be bothersome. Because sometimes we come across things in the Scripture that run completely counter to what we want.

For instance, when a coworker is being incredibly annoying, it can be difficult to lean on truth and “not let any corrupting talk come out of your mouth.” (Ephesians 4:29)

Or when your sibling starts making fun of you for the 258th time for something that happened years ago when you were a kid, it can be hard to lean on truth and “put away anger.” (Colossians 3:8 )

Or when some attractive man or woman looks at you with longing eyes (whether on the street or in an ad), it can be hard to lean on truth and not “commit adultery in [your] heart.” (Matthew 5:28)

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

I could go on. We all struggle in various areas to live in the truth of God’s ways. We love God’s grace when we screw up in these areas, but we don’t always like the truth that points out that these things are sin.

And yet, Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32 ) The truth He was talking about was His Gospel. When you know the truth that Jesus died for your sins, you are free to actually not let any corrupting talk come out of your mouth, or to put away anger, or to not commit adultery in your heart. Wow!

This is why we lean on truth. We lead with grace towards others because we know God has given grace to us. But we lean on the gospel because it is what frees us and changes our identity from sinner to saint and from slave to citizen.

So when your inner longings want to give in to temptation or the world around you preaches something different than the Scripture, lean on the truth of Jesus because He will truly set you free.