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))
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