Speaking Truth In Love
Have you ever said something and wished you could grab it before it hits the other person’s ears? I mean those times when you know you’re saying something that is going to cause hurt feelings but couldn’t catch it before it came out. What you said may be the truth, but you surly didn’t want it to come out the way it did at the time. Then after you’ve finished apologizing and walk away feeling either ashamed, embarrassed, or both, you start grilling yourself. “Why did I say that? What was I thinking?”
The Bible tells us:
“Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:18; NIV)
The reason we say things we later regret is many times because of unresolved issues within ourselves. Our past hurts and offenses, if not dealt with through forgiveness and love, will remain as sources of irritation. As those unresolved issues build up, we lash out. If we continue to ignore those issues we find ourselves becoming impatient and unforgiving.
Think about those people you would consider “brutally honest.” Many times, being brutally honest is considered a good thing, even when the words spoken cause hard feelings. This is not a good thing. James tells us “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (James 4:1) It is a good thing to be honest and forthcoming about your thoughts and feelings. However, it should start with you being honest and forthcoming with yourself. When you find yourself irritated with someone to a point where you need to say something hurtful, the problem is you, not them.
Scripture tells us to
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy…” (see Heb. 12:14). The next verse gives us a very important directive. “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” (Heb. 12:14)
When we allow unresolved issues to linger, they can become bitter roots that will cause unrest and pain within us. This can result in our saying and doing things that are hurtful to others, even when it’s not our intention to do so. When we go to God and seek His healing and comfort, He will lovingly work with us to resolve our hurts. It might not be easy at first, but be honest, humble, and willing to deal with your own stuff more than calling others out on their stuff. You will soon find that speaking truth in love is quite effective and results in blessings and growth for everyone involved.
Have a great week and God bless.