“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. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:15-16
She picked up the phone and began speaking as soon as she heard the familiar voice. “I need to talk to you about something. I think you’ve been manipulative lately.” There, she had said it. The thing she had been dying to say for years. Breathing, she waited for the reply, hoping for a heartfelt apology. Instead she heard only a blaring dial tone.
Most of us can attest to a time when we made a similar call or when someone abruptly confronted us. Most of the time confrontation doesn’t go well. We often forget to share both truth and love when we’re trying to influence someone. Does that mean we should give up altogether? No. It can be messy relating with the difficult people in our lives, but God promises that we will all grow through this very act.
When we share Jesus with someone we care about, we are offering him or her a chance to have eternal life. If she is already His disciple, we are trying to help her in their own influence on a world that needs Christ desperately. Don’t give up on these most important conversations. The next time you need to speak to someone about something important, ask the Holy Spirit to help you speak the truth in love. Luke 12:12 promises that at that very moment, God will give you the words.
Dear Lord, thank You for giving me a circle of influence in which I can grow as well as help others to grow up in their giftedness. Help me to know who You want me to talk to, when to talk to them, and most of all, what to say. I am sorry for the times I have ill-used another person in the name of truth. Please help me to speak from a place of love before I try to help. Thank You for loving me, and for always speaking both love and truth into my life, so I may do my part in this world more perfectly. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Do you have someone in your circle of influence that needs to hear the truth from you? If you feel God tugging at you to courageously share God’s love and truth, begin praying about it first. Don’t speak until you are no longer coming from a place of anger. Wait until your heart is in the right place. Sandwich areas for growth in between comments about this person’s strengths and gifts. Let them know you care about them, or they will never listen.
Further reading: Love: The Answer to Hostility