Speak the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15)
Again, that’s TRUTH in LOVE. Let’s break it down a bit, starting with TRUTH.
According to one survey, a whopping 91% of Americans lie “routinely” (assuming they weren’t lying when they responded). Here’s what the Bible says
A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin. (Proverbs 26:28)
An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. (Proverbs 24:26)
In other words, lies are hateful but TRUTH is like heavenly smooches.
Jesus took it even further. Here’s what he said about Satan:
When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)
Don’t be like Satan. Be like Jesus. Speak the TRUTH.
OK, so what about the LOVE part? Over and over the Bible tells us to use words to build, not to destroy:
Encourage one another and build each other up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
How often should we encourage one another?
Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (Hebrews 3:13)
Times are tough out there. People are hurting. Ask God to help you encourage as many of your fellow humans as possible today. And tomorrow. And each day after that.
Encourage your spouse. Encourage your kids. Encourage your parents. Encourage your friends. Encourage your co-workers. Encourage your boss. Encourage your dentist. Encourage your gastroenterologist.
The possibilities are endless.
We’ll close today with some other LOVE words:
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24)
An anxious heart weighs a man down but a kind word cheers him up. (Proverbs 12:25)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)
Once more, with feeling:
SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE.
(Source: James Patterson & Peter Kim, The Day America Told the Truth (Prentice-Hall, 1991))
For more, check out our 187% free ebook: Love Everybody. Now. Seriously. Please.
Here’s VERSE #3, straight from the mouth of Jesus:
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
We continue our journey into every word spoken by Jesus in the Gospels to help us all KNOW JESUS MORE NOW.
We’re in the midst of a series entitled JESUS ON EVERYTHING. Today’s topic: TRUTH.
According to one study, 60% of us can’t talk for even 10 minutes without lying. Another found that 91% of us lie “regularly.” Yikes.
We all need truth. But where do we find it?
Here are words straight out of Jesus’ mouth on this all-important subject:
We’re taking a deeeeep dive into this rather provocative question: Who did Jesus say he is?
We started with these three answers: Son of Man, Son of God and Messiah.
Now we’re in the midst of eight “I am” statements Jesus made that further define who he is. The first five: the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the Gate, the Good Shepherd and the Resurrection and the Life.
Jesus next “I am” is from his final week on earth. He’s giving final instructions to his disciples:
Here’s this week’s Proverb . . .
As iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens another.
God designed us for relationships. People need people.
But let’s be honest. Sometimes people can be a pain. They can rub us the wrong way. Sparks can fly.
Sometimes we just want to be alone. And on those all-too-rare occasions when we step away from the computer, turn off the TV and unplug the iPod, we often seek out people who will flatter us or agree 100% with everything we say.
Stay sharp. Surround yourself with people who will challenge you and tell you the truth. And then do the same for them. In a world full of deception, sometimes that’s exactly what we need.