Each week I conclude my message with something called: FOR MONDAY. I give 2 or 3 practical things that we can do during the week, and ultimately, that we can integrate into our everyday lives, because what good is a message on Sunday, if you can't live it out every day.
This past week I added a phrase to our FOR MONDAY that may appear to be vague, so I wanted to take a moment to flesh it out a little bit. Here's the phrase: HUMILITY LEADS HONESTY. I know, I know... you might be thinking. "What does that even mean?" Well, that's what this whole blog post is for.
We all know that person who lives on this simple premise: I JUST TELL THE TRUTH! Other famous iterations of this popular sentiment is: I JUST CALL IT LIKE I SEE IT or THE TRUTH IS THE TRUTH AND I'M NOT AFRAID TO SAY IT!
So here's the thing...
There is a desperate need for honesty in the church today. “Speaking the truth in love” is God’s standard (Eph. 4: 15).
If we practice love without truth, it is hypocrisy. But if we try to have truth without love, it may be brutality. Jesus always taught the truth in love.
The reality is that sometimes the truth hurts...
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Prov. 27: 6).
But two questions rise to the surface for me on this:
- WHY AM I SPEAKING THIS TRUTH?
- HOW AM I SPEAKING THIS TRUTH?
Basically, it comes down to motive and delivery.
...keep in mind that humility must come before honesty. A proud Christian cannot speak the truth in love. He will use a brother’s faults as a weapon to fight with and not as a tool to build with.
So ask yourself. What is my motive. I am sharing this truth to crush them or defeat them, or am I sharing this to build them up? To make them stronger? To help them overcome? Am I willingly putting our relationship at risk for the greater good, or am I blowing things up because I am trying to prove something, or punish the other party?
Your motive may be 100% right, but the way you deliver this truth is also extremely important. We need to understand that even though we are delivering the truth, how we deliver it: our tone, our body, even the timing or setting in which you speak this truth is all a part of how the other party is receiving it. If you speak this truth in the love, we have to ask ourselves, does the way I'm delivering this truth also communicate love? Does it show that I'm willing to walk through this with my friend, does the way I'm speaking this say that I am on their side no matter what?
If either our motive or delivery is off...
The result will be only greater disharmony and disagreement.
Thank God for grace & forgiveness, especially if we get it wrong. But that's for next week...
See You At Church!
FOOTNOTE: Wiersbe, Warren W. (2010-01-01). Be Loyal (Matthew): Following the King of Kings (The BE Series Commentary) (p. 164). David C Cook. Kindle Edition.