Speaking the Truth In Love

A few minutes ago, Rachel Held Evans asked this on Twitter: 

Do you think it’s even possible to “speak the truth in love” to someone you don’t actually know & love but to some general, faceless group?
I don’t really think it is possible, and I also wondered what it would look like to to combine that idea with the definition/description of love we get in 1 Corinthians 13:4-5. To refresh our memories, it is:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful…
So, speaking the truth in love is…
  • Speaking the truth patiently.
  • Speaking the truth kindly.
  • Speaking the truth without envy.
  • Speaking the truth without boasting.
  • Speaking the truth without being arrogant about it.
  • Speaking the truth politely.
  • Speaking the truth unselfishly.
  • Speaking the truth good-naturedly.
  • Speaking the truth without resent.

When any of us think or claim to be speaking the truth to someone, is this how it is done? Or is it usually done in the opposite way? How can we be better truth-speakers in love?
Edited to add:

An additional thought I just had is that since Jesus says HE is the truth (John 14:6 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.), then how do we speak Jesus to others in love? Do we follow the description of love above, or do we beat people over the head?

6 thoughts on “Speaking the Truth In Love

  1. HiKelly & Rachel,This is the key to the energy and relevance of the gospel to touch people’s minds ina real way.I’m new to your blog but have found you are willing to ask and look to answer the authentic questions. As a baby boomer who was motivated by the Jesus culture of the Jesus revolution of the 70’s and seen it morphed into tradition and loose itrelevance.I have been challenged by your post on the millennial generation (we call it gen yin Australia) How do I mentor this generation in our ecclesia? How do I speak truth from Love (not from the past, judgement, or knowledge).Here in Bundaberg Australia we were devastated by floods late January 2013. The government has now wound up most of its support; our church has ramped up efforts with social nights and meals. We have teams providing renovation help for homes offolks who have lost heart and have exhausted insurance and other help. Other are offering cup’s of tea and shoulders to lean on. This is the current journey of truth in love for us. This is mostly assisting the elderly and the baby boomer generations with some gen x. Our millennial’s however seem to be on the fringe. We are open to thoughts and suggestions as to ideas to spiritually enliven and motivate a Jesus culture among them.Keep up the encouraging work, and I look forward to reading your future blogsRegardsJohn

  2. Hello Kelly. I can speak from my own experience. One month ago, I decided to create a blog for fostering respectful discussions between people having very different worldviews in a polarized society. One of my main target are militant internet atheist who were almost always former Christian or Muslim fundamentalists. They constantly use ridicule and emotional bullying against their opponents, yet I try to remain myself respectful and loving. When writing to a faceless group, I ask myself "what would I feel if I were in this situation?", always try to avoid hurting them (as far as possible) and try to find real positive points in them which I recognize. I hope God will also use this new blogging thing to increase my love and compassion for all my fellow humans.Lovely greetings from continental Europe.Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s sonhttp://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com

  3. Fantastic edit/add on. Jesus = truth. Jesus = Word. Jesus = love. Perhaps we cannot speak love. More likely, we act in love and Jesus is there in the midst of it.

  4. Can I make one suggestion? You might want to consider them an "audience" or "conversation partner" rather than a "target". It's more peaceful and loving language than comparing them to something that can be associated with violence.

  5. You're right and I don't try to convert anyone to my views or even to Christianity since I reject the belief that God is going to automatically send all unbelievers in hell if they die as such. Greetings from continental Europe.Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s sonhttp://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com

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