4 Ways to Speak the Truth in Love
By: John Ankerberg Show Staff
Today’s politically correct culture encourages us to accept all views and beliefs as equally valid. However, the Bible clearly teaches there are many areas where right and wrong is not a matter of opinion. We are instead commanded to speak God’s truth.
In Ephesians 4:15, the apostle Paul teaches believers are to “speak the truth in love.” Rather than giving in to social pressure, we are to stand firm regarding our Christian convictions. Yet many have questions regarding the best way to proceed in this area. How can we speak God’s truth in love?
Scripture offers four practical ways to speak the truth in love. Through these principles, we can better communicate our beliefs to other people in our lives.
Way #1: Speak the Truth through Love (Service)
It has been said people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. When we serve others through loving acts of service, our actions open doors to speak about our faith.
Jesus called this practice being “salt and light” (Matthew 5:13-16). When we let our “light shine before others,” people are drawn to the God we serve.
Way #2: Speak the Truth at All Times (Consistency)
One of the most common reasons people give for leaving God or church involvement is the hypocrisy of other Christians. Unfortunately, this criticism is often true. Many people who claim to follow God only do so between 10:00 a.m. and noon on Sunday.
To truly speak the truth in love to others, we must do so consistently. The apostles physically lived with Jesus for long periods of time. They experienced what He was like every moment of the day, yet continued to be drawn to Him and live for Him.
Likewise, we are called to live out our faith each day. Our consistency is necessary to share God’s love with many who are hurting and need a positive Christ-like influence.
Way #3: Speak the Truth with Love (Integrity)
Integrity has been defined as how a person lives when no one is looking. We can impress people from a distance, but we impact them when we are personal. When a person sees our personal life, do they see a person of integrity?
This includes how we speak to a person at a store, how we drive our car, how we speak to our kids or spouse, and the way we work at the office or study at school. To speak the truth in love, we must also speak from a personal life of integrity.
Way #4: Speak the Truth without Words (Example)
Our most powerful witness may be when we say nothing at all. Some have said we are the only Bible many will ever read. If so, what kind of “Bible” are they “reading” when they see your life?
Jesus showed His example by washing the feet of His friends (John 13) and then suffering and dying for our sins. These accomplishments were actions of example, offering the most powerful witness Jesus could provide.
We are similarly called to serve and dedicate our lives to helping others. This happens through how we live in the “little things” in life. The ways we treat God and other people comprise what Jesus calls the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:34-40). We don’t simply speak truth; we live it.
These practices are not easy, but they are effective. When we serve others, live consistently, live with integrity, and provide an example worth following, others will see Christ’s love in us. When they do, they may realize the hope Jesus offers far exceeds the ways of our culture and then join you in speaking the truth in love.