“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” –Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)
We do not like confrontation. It is messy, uncomfortable, and often creates conflicts that we would rather avoid. When faced with the destructive lifestyle or erroneous thoughts of a loved one, we may know deep down that something is amiss and want to speak up. Yet we refrain from doing so out of fear that we will create unnecessary tension and end up hurting the other person. We try to justify our silence by saying that it is an act of love; that refusing to say anything about the behaviour of the person we love is proof of our concern and sympathy for them. However, in truth it is the exact opposite. It is not an act of love to remain silent for we will simply be letting them go down a road that will bring them pain and misery.
True love will warn someone when they are going in a direction that will end with regret and despair. Such love goes beyond a simple concern for the other person’s feelings, and finds itself caring for their well-being. When driven by such love we will not cease to speak the truth to our loved ones, even if they ignore our words and find us annoying, because we do not want them to go down that path to total oblivion. However, if we try to do this on our own we will find ourselves lacking the courage to speak boldly and the wisdom to use our words well. It is only when we are enabled by Christ’s Spirit that we will find the wisdom and courage to act in love. When we have allowed Him to enter our hearts and seek with humility to abide by His Spirit, we will be careful to walk according to His leading. Guided by Him we will find that He will give us the strength and tact to boldly speak the truth in love so that those who hear may find life abundant.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.