"Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ..."
Do you ever avoid the truth to keep from hurting or upsetting someone you love? Do you sweep it under the rug to skirt conflict? Maybe they feel wronged by someone at work but can't see that they're actually part of the problem. Perhaps they're spending money on something unnecessarily and aren't picking up on your hints to consider another option. Your love is keeping you from speaking the truth. Conversely, do you ever speak the truth without love? You see your spouse or loved one struggling and you trivialize the situation by offering a generic solution without taking their feelings into account. When they are tense and fretting you blurt out an answer that – while it may be true – is not well-received and compounds the problem. Truth and love are not parallel streets; they are an intersection. The Bible says we can't have one without the other. Without love, there is no truthful communication. Without truth, what we say isn't in love. Ephesians 4:15 tells us that when we unite truth with love we grow more like Christ - our ultimate goal as believers. Relational victory and maximum growth happen in the shadow of the cross - at the intersection of Truth Way and Love Street.
Is there a problem you're pretending isn't a problem in one of your relationships? How can you confront it? What steps will you take today toward approaching that person to have an honest conversation rooted in love?
Dear Lord, I seek to grow more like Christ. I want to reflect His character within my relationships. Give me the courage to speak the truth in love and the patience to understand before trying to be understood. In Jesus' name, Amen.