I Need to Say It, But How?
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” – Ephesians 4:15
How do you handle it when you need to say something to someone you care about that is true but will be painful to hear?
I remember hearing a comedian once talking about difficult questions from his wife. He said one time they were getting ready for an evening out. She put on a dress and then stood in front of the mirror and asked,
“Honey, does this dress make me look fat?”
He said you need to know how to handle these types of questions delicately. So, he looked at her and smiled and said,
“No, dear. That dress doesn’t make you look fat at all…The extra 30 pounds from eating junk food does.”
Speaking the Truth
The comedian spoke the truth, but I doubt his wife appreciated it.
It is important to speak the truth. However, the truth can be a hard thing sometimes.
In our culture, today, there are many who do not believe there even is anything that is a universal truth. They say, “it’s all relative.” God says something different. There are truths…eternal truths. God’s Word is eternally true. We need to understand this and not be afraid to both say there is truth and what that truth is.
In Ephesians, we are told that we are one body in Christ and that are supposed to build each other up in truth and love so that we are not blown around by every “wind of doctrine”, human craftiness, or deceit and so that the body of Christ is equipped, unified, and working properly.
In other words, we need to speak the truth or people are going to be deceived and buy into lies. We see that a lot in our culture today. So, we need to speak the truth, but that’s not all. The passage continues.
Speaking In Love
How you say something can be just as, if not more, important than what you say. A true word spoken harshly can turn someone away in anger. Instead of being enlightened, the relationship is damaged. So, we must speak that truth in love.
Speaking the truth can be hard. It can offend. However, when spoken in love, it builds up. The truth and love always go together. There is a quote from William W Wiersbe,
“Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.”
The truth is not something with which we are to attack others and hurt them. However, at the same time, it is not loving to lie or avoid the truth. Instead, we are to lovingly share the truth that all may be built up in Christ.
You are truth and You are love. Your Son came telling us to repent, but also laid down His life for our forgiveness and salvation. Teach us the truth, the truth that can only be found in You. Help us to also speak the truth to others, but always in love.
In Christ’s Service,