I want to share the process of speaking truth in love in a personal way with you today.
This is something I talk about often, especially with women in my close circles. As a wife and mother, I have learned this lesson MANY times over the years. The receiver will have closed ears if they hear even the hint of anything other than LOVE. (Anger, frustration, condemnation, etc.) Motivation to speak “truth” often comes from these places of frustration, anger, etc. and changing this natural human response could only happen once I acknowledged my own need for correction, and…that without the power of the Holy Spirit, I would not be able to deliver truth IN LOVE. (The message would always be slighlty tainted by “my flesh.”)
Correction is important to our growth, but until it is motivated by love and tempered with that love the recipient will not “hear” a “hard” truth. NONE of us like to hear or “see” our own faults and stumblings.
“And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons: My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, or lose heart when He rebukes you. For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastises everyone He receives as a son.” -Hebrews 12:5,6
In order to speak truth and have it be heard, we must first develop trust within the relationship. It is only through time that we can develop a “track record” of loving responses that will enable the other person to see our true motivation is a matter of the heart.
I love the example Jason Weimer from CRU shares about this topic
What Makes Talking With You Taste Good?
Consider salt. Yes, salt.
In the ancient world salt did more than just make French fries tasty. Before refrigeration, salt preserved meat to keep it from spoiling. These dual purposes – flavoring and preserving – offer context to verses like Colossians 4:6 – “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Asking questions, listening, and seeking to understand is a great start to this. We can also encourage people with Scripture blended with snapshots of how we experience it personally.
We can give people a taste of Jesus.
My wife experienced this firsthand recently. We had just bought four chickens and put a coop in the back corner of our property. Our neighbor’s dog became obsessed with them, feverishly sniffing along the fence and refusing to do his other backyard business.
A few days later my neighbor saw my wife in our yard, stormed over, and confronted her.
“I’m not okay with the chickens,” he said.
My wife was taken aback, but she took a breath and whispered a prayer before responding.
“Can you tell me what’s bothering you?” she said. “Maybe we can work something out that would be good for both of us.”
His demeanor immediately changed, as he was expecting defensiveness. It was like my wife had disarmed a bomb, and through peaceful conversation they were able to agree to a solution.
This salt-seasoned interaction with my wife warmed him and our relationship has grown ever since.
So, back to the my personal story:)
Yesterday, I created a post and Doodle 101 regarding Wisdom. Below is the original image I created.
Later that day, a sweet online friend and Sister in Christ sent me a message that was salty, BUT tasted good:) In her message, she tempered truth with such love. She began by encouraging & supporting me, and in a gentle way, asked me about the modesty of the image of “wisdom” above.
She said…”Somehow wisdom with a hint of immodesty don’t seem to go together.”
In all honesty, I hadn’t given it a thought! Often, when I create a drawing tutorial, I consider what will be the most simple and direct way to the end goal. When I drew lady wisdom above, I wanted to draw a simple top, using minimal lines. I also wanted to convey a hint of grace and a posture of “knowing.” I instinctively drew what I would call a “ballet scoop neck” without even thinking about her slightly bare shoulders.
I have to agree with my friend, any form of immodesty and wisdom do not go together! Thank you Sister, for taking the time to not only encourage me, but to also speak truth in a loving way!
I especially liked something else she said that further “tempered” this truth she delivered…
“I totally mean it with gentleness and love, one sister speaking with her sister to maybe help her to see something that she may have missed. Kind of like I would say to a friend that may have some broccoli stuck in her teeth. :)”
What a beautiful example of speaking truth in love.
Here is my new drawing for Wisdom:)
AS ALWAYS, CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR THE PDF
IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE,