I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the way we talk to each other. Maybe it’s because of what I see as I scroll through social media.
I’ve received comments like:
- A belief in god is the antithesis of all that it is to be human.
- Prefabricated prayers are offensive to God.
- Religion divides the nation.
- God is imaginary and the impossible can’t be done.
And I have to pause before I reply because…
We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ.Ephesians 4:15
And Peter wrote…
If someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way.1 Peter 3:15b–16a
It’s easy for us to forget the “love, gentle, and respectful” parts of speaking the truth. And we can also get so focused on being loving, gentle, and respectful that we fail to speak the truth.
It’s challenging, isn’t it?
So, let’s look at some ways you and I can speak the truth with God-glorifying gentleness, respect, and love:
- Admit your own weakness and imperfection.
- Speak with Humility.
- Listen with kindness and compassion.
- Pray before you speak.
- Practice the Golden Rule.
Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.Matthew 7:12
Something I realized as I’ve been thinking about this is that not speaking the truth is really unloving!
Let me explain…
If you have a toddler who wants to run into the street . . . it would be considered unloving to let them. If your teen wanted to drink and drive . . . it is unloving to sit by and give silent affirmation.
And it is unloving not to tell people the difference that Jesus is able to make in our lives now and for all eternity.
After His resurrection and before He ascended into heaven, Jesus said…
“You are to go to all the world and preach the Good News to every person. He who puts his trust in Me and is baptized will be saved from the punishment of sin. But he who does not put his trust in Me is guilty and will be punished forever.”Mark 16:15–16
He didn’t say it would be easy but He did say it is important.
So, let’s pray and ask God to help us speak the truth with gentleness, respect, and love.
A Prayer to Speak the Truth in Love
with Gentleness and Respect
Father, please forgive us. We have hurt the message of Your love through our unloving words. We have harmed hearts, minds, and souls by failing to tell others of Your love. Please forgive me. I have been timid and weak. I have stood by in silence when I should have spoken the truth and I have shared things I’ve believed without testing them against Your Word to know if they are true. I have failed with my words and I’m so sorry.
Please give me a passion to know Your TRUTH through Your Word. Help me hold Your promises in my heart that I might be ready to share Your love with someone who is hurting or confused. Please fill me with Your Spirit. Give me wisdom and discernment that I might know when to speak and when to be silent. And please go before me preparing hearts and minds that they might receive well the words I speak knowing that my intent is one of love. And help me pause to show that love with gentleness and respect. I ask this in the name of Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Amen.
It’s important to know that the “truth” we’re talking about is the TRUTH that God gives us in His Word.
There is no such thing as “my truth” or “your truth.” There is only THE TRUTH! God’s TRUTH!
Jesus said that His truth gives freedom. (John 8:32) He said that He came to testify to the truth. (John 18:37) And He repeatedly said, “I tell you the truth.”
As God made human . . . Jesus speaks the TRUTH. God’s TRUTH!
And when you and I share that TRUTH, we are sharing God’s love.
So, may we gently and respectfully share the truth with love by telling people the difference knowing and loving Jesus has made in our lives and inviting them to get to know Him themselves.
May God be with you and bless you as you speak the truth in love.
Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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