Speaking truth through love
August 5, 2011
By KATIE GROBE
Director, Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center
I've often thought about Paul's exhortation to us in Ephesians 4:15: "But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ."
I have seen people put emphasis on one side or the other in this concept. They speak a lot of truth hoping that you can find the love in it, or they love you a whole lot hoping you'll discover the truth in that, but there are some inherent problems with either of these.
Speaking truth, or rather using truth to prove your point or show someone how wrong they are, does not indeed fulfill the love aspect in any way.
I have seen the truth used as a weapon, and that can be brutal.
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II Timothy 2:15 says, "Be diligent to present yourself to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth."
While the truth is absolute, there are times when condemnation enters the scene. We are told judge not lest we be judged, so how can a delivery of the truth tainted with judgment be an accurate handling of that truth?
I Corinthians 13:1 says, "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." To be relevant and heard, we need the element of compassion as we share truth.
Conversely, if we simply love on everyone and do not present the truth, that is a misrepresentation of the gospel. As Acts 20:27 says, "For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God."
Speaking through love does not mean that we get to omit painful truth, overlook uncomfortable truth, or ignore sin. We still need to hold one another accountable and realize that only by using the truth properly can we truly help those who are lost and hurting.
Jesus states in John 8:31-32, "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."
Speaking the truth in love encourages this type of freedom as it removes obstacles in our relationships with each other and with God.