Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16)
We often use the biblical verse “speaking the truth with love” to justify something we feel needs to be said to someone. Perhaps it does need to be said, but let’s commit to the biblical context instead of using the words to rationalize our preferences. Consider three important words included: speak, truth, love.
Speak. When we speak the truth with love, we have to actually say the words. We can’t simply wish someone would read our minds. We can’t hint around. We can’t make assumptions that someone knows or will be told by someone else.
Truth. Truth is defined by God. We don’t get to decide what the truth is. What we share as truth is often a preference or judgment coming from ourselves instead of from God. Be certain what you’re speaking as truth reflects God’s truth.
Love. Our love is defined by God’s love. We’re created in His image, and He pours everything we need into us, including love. We can justify not saying something because of love or saying something harshly because of love, but only God gets to decide the right response in love.
Speak, truth, love: three cords that are intricately woven together to create a strong cord.
Dear God, help me to speak the truth in love in all situations and relationships. Help me not to rationalize any hint of dividing any one aspect out. I want to honor You and honor others with Your love. Thank You for not only giving me the instruction but giving me the example of Your love.