Speaking The Truth with Love
Day by day we walk, talk and live alongside people dying without hope, meaning or love, discouraged, worrying and without comfort. To share the love and truth that we know personally is a beginning, to revive not only our own hearts but the hearts of those around us. Even a small drop in the ocean causes a ripple, and every ripple has an effect that flows on and on. Be the drop of love, encouraging others with the truth and be a voice of kindness that those around you need, just wait and see the ripples that are produced.
A soothing tongue [speaking words that build up and encourage] is a tree of life,
But a perversive tongue [speaking words that overwhelm and depress] crushes the spirit.”
Proverbs 15:4, The Bible (AMP)
How you speak, and the spirit in which you do so has a huge effect not only on your inner-self but those around you. Your intentions are powerful and without saying a word even your presence has an effect on those around you.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.
Proverbs 10:11a The Bible (AMP)
You have the power to bless or to curse; the power of life or death, and with such power comes responsibility. Blessing means “to speak well of’ or ‘to speak the intention and favour of God on a person.. or situation”, to curse is to do the very opposite.
May your words and presence be that of blessing which will bring healing and peace. In the way that Christ reached out to heal those around Him, we also have His spirit and grace within us to bring to earth the kingdom of God; the kingdom of power, of love and peace.
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet and delightful to the soul and healing to the body.
Proverbs 16:20, The Bible (AMP)
To gain a closer and fuller comprehension of what Paul means when he says “speak the truth with love”, let’s break it down and explore the original writing and the context. Without context, we simply can’t apply the truth of the Gospel appropriately.
To “speak” the truth, what more could this mean?
When we look back to the original text, written in Greek we see that the term ἀληθεύω (alētheuō pronounced al-ayth-yoo'-o) - to speak the truth, is also translated as - to tell the truth.
Both the Outline of ‘Biblical Usage’ according to Larry Pierce and ‘Thayer’s Greek Lexicon’ conclude that the Greek is also be interpreted as:
to teach the truth, (and)
to profess the truth
What does Paul mean by “Love”, there are several types of love, so which love is he referring to?
When we look back to the original text again, in Greek we see that the word ἀγάπη (agapē pronounced ag-ah'-pay) - love, is also Biblically used to describe:
Benevolence (disposition to do good)
To give “speak the truth with love” a fuller expression, we can understand it in this way: “Speak, tell, profess and teach the truth (that is of God) with intention and action - brotherly love; affection, goodwill, benevolence and charity.”
The context, time and place of its application, paints the picture of the purpose for this message. A message that has become timeless and applies to all who believe that Jesus Christ is One with God. Illustrated below is a paraphrase of Ephesians 4:1-16, this beautiful text through the witness of Paul, one who worked many miracles in the name of Jesus, speaks powerfully on the heart of this purposeful calling, “to speak the truth with love”. The encouragement first applies to love fellow believers in Christ; a people united by the grace of God.
Encouraged and lifted up, blessed by Love,
we are transformed to live a new life.
A life permeated by godly character,
moral courage, integrity, and mature behaviour.
A living in expression of gratitude,
to the God of our salvation,
with humility, gentleness, self-control and patience,
bearing with one another in selfless love.
With every effort to dwell in oneness of Spirit,
in a bond of peace, united as one.
The body of Christ,
called to salvation in one hope.
By one Lord, one faith,
one baptism we’re united,
one God and Father, sovereign over all,
working through all and living in all.
With grace; God’s undeserved favour,
given to each one of us, in different ways,
to the measure of Christ’s rich and abundant gift..
To fully equip and perfect God’s people for works of service:
To build up the body of Christ,
until we all reach oneness in the faith
and in the knowledge of the Son of God,
growing spiritually to become a mature believer.
Reaching to the measure of the fullness of Christ,
so that we are no longer children; spiritually immature,
tossed back and forth like ships on a stormy sea,
carried about by every wind of shifting doctrine.
But speaking the truth in love, in all things,
both our speech and lives expressing His truth.
Growing up in all things, into Christ our head,
joined and knitted firmly together as a body united.
With every part contributing its gift and portion,
and when each part is working properly,
the whole body (the church) matures and thrives,
building each other up in selfless love.
We love because we are loved. The love of our Creator inspires us to love Him and His creation, the people around us and this beautiful earth that we are caretakers of.
“For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes and has decided to trust in Him [as personal Savior and Lord] is not judged [for this one, there is no judgment, no rejection, no condemnation]”