Speak the truth in love

Date: Saturday, October 11

ScriptureEphesians 4:11-16

Verse: Instead, by speaking the truth with love, let’s grow in every way into Christ, who is the head. (Ephesians 4:15f)

truthLooking for images this week, I came across a quote I had not heard before: “Telling the truth and making someone cry is better than telling a lie and making someone smile.” I think there is some truth in that quote, though I have seen that idea used as a weapon to hurt others. Someone says something mean then dismisses the reaction of the other by saying, “I’m just telling the truth.” But there is something to the ability to speak the truth to those we love, especially when we pair it with yesterday’s devotion and all the lies we can believe about ourselves, and how the truth of who we are in Christ is often far different.

In today’s passage, the Apostle Paul encourages the people of Ephesus to speak “the truth with love,” toward one another. Note though that the goal of the truth is so everyone will “grow in every way into Christ.” This isn’t about taking shots at people for character flaws, but rather speaking to those with whom we are close, so they can grow in Christ.

But not everyone can speak that way into my life. A truth that might make me cry is heard far differently from someone who knows me well, than from someone who only knows a piece of who I am. To hear a difficult truth, I need to be in a deep relationship with the one speaking to me. Trust like that is reliant upon a relationship that is mature, one which has grown over time.

When we hear these words from the Apostle Paul, we must remember that the goal of “speaking the truth with love” is to “grow in every way into Christ.” We tell the truth in love to build people up, not tear them down. You and I need relationships with people whom we give permission to tell us truths that might make us cry, but will deepen our relationship with Christ.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for those who care deeply about me who can speak the truth to me in ways I can hear it. Amen.

Action: Reflect: Who are the people in your life who have permission to tell you hard truths? Do you need to develop those relationships?

Respond: What do you think of the quote: “Telling the truth and making someone cry is better than telling a lie and making someone smile”?

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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