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Speaking the Truth in Love

Why is it so difficult to speak the truth in love? What makes it difficult to communicate what is truly going on inside of us?

The difficulty lies mainly in the individual we are speaking to. We wonder if they will take our message as personal condemnation or rejection. So we fear hurting their feelings or worrying that they will get upset or angry at us.

I am sure most of you can identify with this anxiety or fear of how someone is going to take what you say. You worry about what they are going to think of you afterwards.

As a result, many of us won't tell someone the truth. At times, I have heard people say it is okay to lie or not tell the truth in order to protect someone's feelings. They believe it is better to tell someone what they would want to hear or withholding the truth altogether.

Imagine with me what could happen in this situation. A man has a phone conversation with a woman. He feels it is ok not to tell his wife about this conversation. He knows his wife would feel it is a threat to their marriage and would get very upset. Even though he is committed to his wife, he withholds the truth. Withholding the truth or lying just delays the consequences. In fact, the consequences can be far worst than if the truth is disclosed right away.

What do you think? Is truth ever optional? I say NO! But timing and method are. In other words, when you tell someone the truth and how you deliver it are optional. We need to give thought to the "when" and "how" of delivering the truth.

It is vital to first looking at your own heart before you speak. You want to make sure not to come across with a judgmental attitude. You want to be sincere in your heart that your purpose is to edify and not to tear down. If you think the other person has missed the mark, firstly, we need to direct them to the Cross of Christ, recognizing that God has taken our condemnation and we are forgiven.

It is when we are certain that we are not condemning and judging the other person that we can move forward with speaking the truth. Our motivation will be to truly help them grow.

Are there any instances where you are not speaking the truth? Check your heart and attitude first. Find the right time, think through your delivery and then go to the other person.

Your relationships will be richer and more intimate as you seek to walk in, and speak, the truth.

May God bless you and your family.

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