11 Ways to Speak the Truth in Love
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, ~Ephesians 4:15.
God uses the people of God speaking the truth of God into one another's lives to bring forth change. Jesus Himself prayed, "sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth" (John 17:17). God desires that we speak the truth to one another for our mutual good and growth. Too often the truth is spoken but not in a loving way, and it ends up harming the relationship.
So what does it look like to "speak the truth in love?" I am glad you asked. Here are 11 principles that will help you speak the truth lovingly and like any good list, they all start with the letter 'A'.
- Assume a humble posture - Colossians 3:12 - Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
- Avoid assumptions - Proverbs 18:13 - If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
- Ask questions - Similar to number 2, questions help us come across less like an aggressor and more like a helper.
- Accept with love unconditionally - 1 Corinthians 16:14 - Let all that you do be done in love.
- Acknowledge a mutual need for God’s grace - Romans 3:10-12 - None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
- Appeal to God in prayer - James 5:16 - Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
- Apply God’s Word to the situation - 2 Timothy 3:16-17 - All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
- Aim for the heart - Matthew 15:18-19 - But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
- Allow the Spirit to convict - John 16:18 - And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:
- Assist when necessary - Galatians 6:2 - Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
- Offer Accountability - Hebrews 3:13 - But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.