23rd August 2011

Speaking The Truth In Love 

“…that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.”
Ephesians 4:14-15 (NKJV)

In a sermon recently, our National Director, James Henderson, asked the congregation, “Now be honest:  Put your hand up if you are always truthful and honest.”  I wanted to put my hand up, but thought he might say I was not being honest with myself.

It got me thinking about being honest and truthful.  As my family will tell you, I am not known for my tact!  I am sometimes ‘brutally honest’, and this can be hurtful.  I’m not saying you should be untruthful.  I want to be like the Proverbs 31 woman in whose tongue is the law of kindness (Proverbs 31:26), but particularly if I am tired or caught unawares, I may not think to couch the truth in kind language.  If someone asks do I like their new hair style, and I don’t really, I could say, “It’s very different to your usual”, or “It’s quite a change”.  Even answering the question with a question, as Christ sometimes did, will often get you out of a tight spot—“Are you happy with it, do you like it?”  Instead of blurting out honestly, “It isn’t very becoming”, or “It looks terrible”, I try to “speak the truth in love”.

There is a principle in Colossians 4:6, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”  I know this is speaking of answering questions about your faith or Christian walk, but the principle of preparing an answer is valid in many aspects of our lives—what would you say if someone offered you drugs?  How would you answer if you were asked to lie as an alibi for a friend who was cheating on his wife?  What to say when someone asks your opinion of their new hair style?

Someone once gave me a plaque that said,
“Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff,
And nudge me when I’ve said enough!”

Colossians 3:9 tells us, “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds.”  The law of love is more than ‘thou shalt not kill’ or even not bearing false witness.  The truth spoken without consideration for another can also break the principle of the laws of God, which are summed up in the word, LOVE. 

Prayer
Father in Heaven, please guide my tongue so I always speak the truth in love.
Amen

Study by Nancy Silcox

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