Ephesians 4:15, "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 the issue under the rug to skirt conflict? Maybe you feel wronged by a friend but don't have the nerve to bring it up. Or, perhaps your spouse is spending money unnecessarily and your subtle hints are going unnoticed. Your love is keeping you from speaking the truth.
Conversely, do you ever speak the truth without love? Your child is struggling and you trivialize the situation by offering a generic solution without taking their feelings into account. When your co-worker is 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 that great communication can't happen with just one. Without truth, what we say isn't in love. Without love, truth is much harder to swallow. Ephesians 4:15 tells us that when we unite truth with love we look more like Christ - our ultimate goal as believers.
Christ modeled this for us. He was truthful about our sin, but He loved us enough to offer Himself as a solution. 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.