Have you ever wondered how many lies you encounter in a day? According to researcher Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, the average person is lied to more than 10 times per day. Depending on the life situation, that number can sore to more than 100 ties per day.
Years ago, a study in the UK found that on average, 60% of people lied at least once in a ten-minute conversation. I still don’t know if I believe that one.
Speaking truth can be hard to do. Speaking the truth in love can seem almost impossible.
So, why is truth critical to experience true love? That may seem like an easy question to answer. But it may also be harder than you think. People today have very different definitions for love. One word can mean so many different things.
The verse I want to explore today is Ephesians 4:14-15.
Ephesians 4:14-15 (NIV)
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
The key concept in this passage is “Speaking the truth in love.” Interestingly, this concept occurs in a chapter with a focus on unity in the body of Christ. We are unified for a mission. And our purpose isn’t to just keep the peace or to make everybody feel good. We are to be unified to grow and reach maturity (v14), striving to reach the fullness of Christ.
Our mission is to seek God’s will and to let go of anything that gets in the way. When this happens, we will no longer act like babies in our faith, that is what Paul said. We won’t be tossed back and forth by various false teaching. We won’t fall prey to schemes of people who are looking to deny God’s truth.
In order to do this, we must speak the truth in love – especially to those who belong to God’s family. But this can be hard to do.
Here are Some Things to Remember When It Comes to Speaking the Truth in Love
- Many times, Christians only tell part of the truth. We withhold the hardest part because we don’t want to risk a relationship or hurt the feelings of the other person.
- People tend to error on one side or the other. We are only “love” and will not share the truth. Or we brutally share the truth without compassion and mercy. Which one are you? Truth without love. Or love without truth?
- Pray for guidance and talk to the other person second. Bathing a situation in prayer can give you the grace you need to navigate any situation.
- The objective is to come to a restored relationship between us and the other person as well as God. Restoration cannot happen without truth.
- Restoration happens when we go directly to the other person first. We can go to God for guidance. But we shouldn’t really involve third parties in most situations until our face-to-face efforts have failed.
- If you are helping to mediate a situation, you aren’t looking to pick sides, you are trying to honor God and others in the relationship as you seek a resolution.
- Words are not weapons. Be careful what you say that you can’t take back.
- You can disagree and still love each other. Disagreement does not equal hatred.
- Check your motives? Do you really love this person and have a relationship to have standing to have this conversation?
Love Is Based on Truth, Otherwise It Isn’t Reliable.
Today, the culture is confused about the difference between Love and Tolerance. People will say, “If you love me, you wouldn’t say anything to me about sin.” But the opposite is true. Sin is like playing with a cobra. It can kill you. Let’s look at this video about love and tolerance.
Love is better tolerance. And God’s love is better than human love.