A friend shared a struggle with me the other day.
She is a sweet person, full of life and in-love with God… but blinded in this particular situation. I had two choices:
- I could jump on her team and just nod and grin and keep my mouth shut, or
- I could love her enough to tell her the truth based in God’s Word.
Situations like this are hard, especially when you care deeply for the person who is struggling. It’s not easy to face off with someone when you the know the potential exists to hurt their feelings or cause a rift between the two of you.
What would you have done?
In Ephesians 4, Paul is speaking to the church in Ephesus on the unity in the body of Christ and in the 15th verse… he tells us that one way to foster this “unity” is to speak the truth in love.
It’s tricky to find that balance, isn’t it? Here are some things to consider…
Speaking the truth in love is NOT:
- Holding back parts of the truth. (Acts 20:27)
- Watering down the truth. (2 Timothy 4:2)
- Being so vague that the person gets confused by what you really mean. (Acts 2:37-41)
When you speak the truth in love, you do it only to help the other person. It’s not an “in” to really let someone have it. Speaking the truth in love looks like this:
- Making sure you are prayed up before you speak. Have His covering before you open your mouth, even if you’re praying in your mind as this person is sharing what’s going on. Ask God for guidance.
- Being bold and confident (not harsh and hurtful). To the same people Paul wrote about speaking the truth in love, he later wrote in soliciting their prayers… “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.” (Eph 6:19)
- Using both the positive and the negative. Sometimes starting with an encouraging word followed by the “truth” sets the right tone. Example… “I know how much you love your husband, but I encourage you to respect him by representing him in a good light to others.”
- Share the whole truth of what God says. John 8:32 says “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.“
This is hard stuff! Especially when we struggle with confrontation and conflict. But loving someone enough to share the truth in love separates you from an ordinary friend to a trustworthy sister (or brother) in Christ.
Yes… there will be a potential for hurt feelings. Yes… it could get ugly before it gets better. But… if done right will speak volumes into their lives because you loved them enough to confront them… with love.
Well, I spoke the truth to my friend and while some things were hard for her to hear… she was grateful for my perspective and thanked me for caring enough to stand up to her. And for her.
Be the kind of friend who is willing to speak the truth to those you love.