Speaking the Truth in Love?
Hmmm, I keep talking about this. I want to do it, but what does it really mean? Should we walk along the sidewalk and announce “Wow, that is the ugliest dress I have ever seen? Just sayin, trying to help you not be embarrassed!” Or, “You need to lose some weight! Love you!” Or is it “That really hurt that you swindled me in that business deal. But I forgive you and I release you from owing me anything”. Or “That employee is always late. But he/she is such a kind person and they often stay late to make up for it, so why say anything?”
Kind of gets confusing on how do we draw the line? Where is that place we sit down with our kids and say “I love you and I see some things that are concerning me and I want to know how I can help?” Do we figure out a solution? Or do we let them figure out and just point out the problem? I mean, just because we’re speaking the truth, doesn’t mean we know how to do that in love. Was that modeled for you in your life? How are you doing it in your own life? I have to admit I’m pretty messy on this one. I work hard at speaking the truth, but it often comes out in the wrong way, or hurting the person I care so much about. What then? Do I run away and ‘never do that again’. Avoid that area because it is not fun, or do I try to tackle this thing called truth and love and just accept the fact that it’s going to be messy.
What’s in God’s Word
Usually when I get stuck on thoughts, I go to the bible to see what God tells me to do. After all, this is His idea, so now I need Him to explain it to me. Here’s what I found out. Sorry, I know it’s a little long, but I had to read the whole thing to try and figure out some more keys. I’ll try to summarize here, and for those of you that like to think more about it, read on.
First of all, I’m to life a life worthy of the calling I’ve received being humble, gentle, patient, bearing with one another in love. Get closer to God so I can become more like Him as I learn His ways. Don’t worry, God will give me the grace I need at the time I need it. The stronger I get in my faith, the less people can sway me to the right or to the left. Then I can speak the truth in love, because of my time spent with Him. It’s ok to get mad, just don’t let the sun go down without forgiving. Be compassionate, forgiving and get rid of all the anger inside of me. How can I not do that when Jesus forgave me?
So, there it is, in black and white. I know I still have a lot of work to do, but I’ve decided that even if it’s messy, I’m going to work on this one. I’ve ignored in the past and that hasn’t worked out so well, so here I go on a journey of messiness that I hope is going to become beautiful.
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor,
for we are all members of one body.”