Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Speak the Truth in Love

Speak the truth in love. Ephesians 4:15

How often do you speak the truth in love?  Me, well, let's just say that I don't do it often enough.  I find that when I speak the truth, I forget to do it in a loving way.  Or, when I am loving, I tend to not be completely truthful because I don't want to hurt the person.

This is such a hard thing to do, because even when speaking the truth with love, people get their feelings hurt.  It is hard to swallow the truth sometimes.  I will be the first to admit that I don't always like to hear the truth about myself.  However, as hard as it is to hear, hind site has always proven (to me, at least) that my relationships would have endured less hurt, frustration and disappointment if the truth had just been spoken to begin with.

However, I firmly believe, that in speaking the truth with love, you must speak the truth to that specific person.  Because, what good does it do to take up an issue that has to do with one person with others?   I do think that it is okay to talk to a trusted individual about the situation so that they can help you find a way to go about this.  But, I think that this has to be approached carefully and in the true spirit of wanting help.  Otherwise, it turns into gossip and backstabbing.

When Chuck and I have a disagreement, even though I want to complain about him to friends, the best thing to do is just be honest with him. I find, though, that even when I feel like I am being truthful in a loving way, he may not always feel like I am being loving.  And, when it comes to friendships, how do you know if your friendship can endure you being truthful?  Everyone likes to say that their friends can always be honest with them, but can they?  Can a person really hear the truth from a friend, spouse, parent, etc. and know that it is coming out of love?

Which is another complicating factor...the interpretation of the other person.  How do you get them to see that you are trying to be loving when the truth hurts them?

Like I (and many, many others before me) have said before, God never promised us that life would be easy, but He did promise to always be with us.  So, I feel like this is another step of faith that I am called to take.  I need to work on speaking the truth in love.  I have to admit that the thought of it makes me anxious, but it is what I am called to do.

So, from now on, I will work on speaking the truth in love in hopes that it will make all of my relationships better and stronger.

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