Culture At Large

Forgetting to Tell the Truth in Love

Jerod Clark

I’m a fairly blunt person.  If I’m asked a question, I answer it.  For the most part, I just say what I’m thinking.

I’ve always thought this open book style fits the Christian lifestyle well.  It keeps me from lying.  If I hide things from other people, am I more abt to try to hide them from God?  (A ridiculous thought since God is all knowing.)  In a lot of ways, being open and honest is easier than being closed and untruthful.

But as I was reading my daily devotional awhile back, I realized the easiness of saying what you’re thinking can have unintended consequences.  Rev. Arthur J. Schoonveld wrote:

We were not always told that we should speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). As a result I’ve sometimes told the truth without any regard for how it might hurt the other person.

According to the apostle Paul, we are to say only “what is helpful for building others up according to their needs.” Before we speak, we need to ask ourselves: “Should I say what I am about to say? And is it the right time to say it? Will I be speaking the truth in love, and will it build the other person up?”

So where’s the line for us as Christians?  Obviously there are times where telling the truth is going to hurt someone no matter how nice you try to be in telling that truth.  But is that okay as long as our heart is in the right place?    In a culture where having strong opinions are rewarded with talk show or news analyst gigs, is telling the truth in love another way for us to distinguish ourselves as Christians?  Can you go to far to a point where nothing is ever fairly criticized for fear of being too mean?

Topics: Culture At Large, Theology & The Church, Faith