Have you ever noticed that the Bible gives us communication guidance and advice? God’s Word helps us understand more about God and what it means to follow Him. It also guides us on His plan for us as His children and how we should be in relationship with Him and each other.
For example, scripture commands husbands to not be harsh with their wives (Colossians 3:19). The book of James instructs us about the dangers of the tongue. Exodus 20:16 commands us not to lie. There’s countless communication warnings and instructions for us to follow in the Bible.
With that in mind, many people have heard the phrase from Ephesians 4:15 “…speaking the truth in love…” as it is part of scripture that is explaining unity among Christians. But do you understand what it means for you to speak the truth in love to another believer in your life?
Here’s some thoughts on this verse and how you can speak the truth in love as you communicate with loved ones:
It requires SPEAKING
This may seem obvious, but not everyone communicates well with words. Have you ever given the silent treatment? What about only used one or two word responses when you’re upset? Are you an avoider when the subject feels uncomfortable? This is not speaking the truth in love.
Likewise sighing, grunting or sending “the look” to someone to communicate is not speaking openly. For healthy communication, make sure you are using words to create a clear and understandable message.
Your message is TRUTH
Have you ever tweaked your message out of fear of what someone will think? Do you struggle with being vulnerable, real, and authentic with safe and trusted people? Fear of man tends to clam people up with speaking truth. People tend to hide behind masks of fear that give a veiled illusion of safety so they won’t be judged, rejected, or hurt by someone.
Speaking truth can be having to say hard and honest things to fellow believers based on God’s Word. It can also mean that you share vulnerably who you are in order to do the “one another’s” that God calls us to live out with our faith community.
It’s done with LOVE
Speaking the truth in love means that the message may not always be easy, but the way it’s communicated is out of love and done in a loving way. This means that you aren’t harsh or critical.
Let I Corinthians 13 help you test your message to see if it’s loving…is it patient? kind? Is there envy? Are you boasting? Is it dishonoring? Is it self-seeking? Are you reacting quickly with anger? Are you holding a grudge? Is it rejoicing in evil instead of truth? If you answered yes to these, you need to shift your message to one that is still true, but also loving.
Speaking the truth in love won’t always be easy, but it’s an important way to have healthy communication in your relationships.
So how does your communication measure up? Are there some improvements that will help you speak the truth in love in your relationships?