I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. A couple of weeks ago it was mentioned in the sermon that everyone should have a “Nathan” in their life… referring to the prophet Nathan who confronted King David about his sin with Bathsheba.
Nathan spoke in a parable to David. When David heard the parable he was angry and wanted justice. Then Nathan “POW’ed” David with “it’s you I’m talking about”. Then David was repentant and was brought back into fellowship with the Lord. Everyone needs to find someone in their life who will tell them the truth.
We hear the phrase “speak the truth in love” a lot. I guess I want to know what that means. Does it mean to be politically correct and only point out what isn’t socially acceptable? Does it mean to cushion the truth so it doesn’t hurt? I can be political and try not to offend… I think this is often called “tact”. I can be gentle and offer words of advice in a quiet voice that doesn’t embarrass. I can be passionate and tell someone they are WRONG and show in the Scriptures where that is true… but what I REALLY think it means to “speak the truth in love” is this:
To tell the truth about what needs corrected with a sincere heart. Not to condemn a person but to warn them that they are stepping outside of God’s Word and they are in dangerous territory. You are offering truth to bring them back to safety… back into fellowship with the Lord.
Now, I believe that sometimes well-meaning people offer opinion disguised as truth. There’s a difference. Truth is always going to be found in God’s Word. What does His Word say about this situation? If He says “don’t do it” then it’s not a “grey” area just because “everyone else is doing it” or it’s “socially acceptable” or “modern”. As much as I HATE confrontation, there are times when it’s necessary. We’re not called to judge one another, but we are accountable to one another. We are 1 Body. Sometimes we may not LIKE what is being said to us… but let’s always refer back to absolute Truth: God’s Word.
Also, let’s be honest here… if someone you love comes to you and tells you something that you don’t want to hear but is true, no matter who it is that told you, or how it was delivered, there is always going to be a moment of pain. Nobody likes correction. It’s not fun! It’s not comfortable. Let’s continue being honest here… if your reaction is to reject the truth then anger, frustration, feelings of judgment are going to fill your heart and mind. If your reaction is to hear the truth and repent, as David did, then healing will begin.
Ok, to sum up: Everyone needs to find someone in their life who will speak the truth in love. Truth is truth. Sometimes it hurts. Delivering the truth isn’t meant to harm someone. Doing so in love doesn’t mean watering truth down; rather speaking truth with sincere intentions to bring about restoration.
So what do you think?