Speak the truth in love

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God wants us to speak the truth, but always in a loving way

“..Sorry, but I was just being honest!”

I was at a gig some months ago when someone I know said those words to me. This person decided to let me know that she found the way I spoke to another person to be patronising & rude. I came away pretty angry from that conversation.

Yes, she was being honest, and maybe she had a point, but my frustration was centred around the fact that this person had exercised her freedom to speak her mind, regardless of how it affected me.

It turned my mind to thinking about what it means to tell the truth. After all, isn’t it one of God’s priorities to be truthful?  It has to be.

The right to be honest?

Modern people find it relatively easy to be honest. The rights of the individual are important and are defended at a high cost. Some of them include the right to:

  • do what I want
  • feel how I want
  • not get told what to do
  • express my beliefs however I want

If you believe it's important to express your views, then being honest with someone about what you see or think becomes an extension of your rights. Yet, telling the truth can be dangerously close to just verbally abusing people.

It is some relief to me, that God’s version of truth-telling is somewhat more balanced. God has revealed to us in the Bible that he is not only committed to telling the truth, but also committed to love.

Speak the truth in love

Ephesians 4:15 says: “Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the head, that is Christ”.

We need to keep the balance between responsibility for someone’s wellbeing and telling them the truth (which will be hard to hear at times).

What an opportunity to make a difference. If I dare to exercise the choice to be truthful, but do it in a loving and helpful way (not an aggressive or arrogant way) then I show you genuine love and am using the truth to benefit you and help you grow.

In the midst of our hard and fast lives, often focussed on self-survival, I bet Jesus’ radical love, shown in our character, can be a refreshing & healing force - bringing true change.

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