Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Truth Speaking

In a recent private message, I was asked, “Aren’t we Christians supposed to be nice to everyone, Ralph?” Because I was short on time, I had to be brief—which is sometimes a good thing for me.  :)  The apostle Paul wrote that believers must grow up in Christ and as His body by, among other things, “speaking the truth in love,…” (Ephesians 4:15). I believe that truth speaking can be filled with emotion—heat, conviction, intensity, calmness, passion, tears and more. Truth speaking is not necessarily “nice speaking,” as we (and I!) might ordinarily want. Love means respect and value for everyone, which should be evident in the one speaking, particularly the one wanting to assist people growing in Christ. Truth writing is different from truth speaking and can be even more challenging, because one’s face is not involved; neither is there volume or inflection which might clarify emotion. Take care.

Finally, the apostle Paul was juxtaposing the lives of those building each other up in Christ (the church) with those not yet part of it (non-believing “Gentiles”). It’s okay to be really mean and awful to non-believers—just kidding. I think the same foundation of love, respect and value should shape the words we speak and write to non-believers. They may well be different words, but offering the life of God through the gospel is a sacred thing, and that should be evident.

No comments:

Post a Comment