Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ – Ephesians 4:15
Many people love saying this, and I can’t disagree with it. It’s the word of God, and it makes sense. No one will receive the truth from someone unless it’s spoken from a place of love. Conversely, there is no point in having a whole lot of love without truth. For this will leave someone feeling good temporarily, but later they will have no firm foundation.
However, what is the truth, and what is love? These must be defined. The Bible describes both very simply as God, (The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit). Being defined as such implies the whole Word of God, and how He describes love and what He says is True in the bible. The Word of God goes into great detail on both, but I won’t talk about that here because I want to keep this short.
I encourage you to look into yourself, read the Bible and find out what God says about Truth and Love.
However, I will say this, if you sacrifice either Truth or Love in your interactions with other people you will not achieve either. If you pour out compassion and empathy for someone, in an attempt to show them love, yet lie to them, you have not shown them love. If you yell the truth at someone, instead of speaking it with compassion and empathy, they won’t hear you no matter how right you are.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. – 1 John 4:7-8
I struggle with this, mainly the love part. Anyone who knows me can attest to this, especially anyone that’s been on the receiving end of one of my rants or me attempting to offer advice. I need to work on this. As our world becomes more divisive, it will become more important than ever to clearly communicate to people that we love them and that’s why we are telling people something that offends them or is hard to swallow.
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 CSB
But there is the other side of this, the danger of attempting to be loving, and confusing love with not being offensive to anyone. The truth is offensive, especially when it contradicts the way you’re living or lies you believe. So you have to be compassionate and empathetic, but you cannot abandon the truth otherwise you are being the opposite of loving.
I’m just musing here, I’m not trying to suggest that I have figured anything out or know how to do this, but I pray that you would pursue Him with me to find out how to speak the truth in love to our hurting and broken world.
Hope and Peace in Jesus,