"Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up…." Ephesians 4:15, NIV
The truth hurts…sometimes. The truth can feel like the meanest enemy or our best friend. One thing is for sure…the truth—spoken in love—causes us to grow up!
If the truth be told, sometimes, I don't want the truth. There are times I want to live in the fantasy world I have created. I don't want to hear the truth about myself…how people perceive me, how I act, how my hair looks, what people think of my preaching, how tired I look, how spiritual I am or ain't, how I communicate, how I cook, how I decorate…and on it goes. But, if I want to grow up in all things…I need to hear the truth.
I have found that once I hear the truth and embrace it, the Lord goes to work in my heart and mind helping me to change, improve, eliminate and tweak whatever is necessary so that I can grow up! In the end, it's always for the best.
I have observed three ways the truth comes to us:
We can speak the truth in love—to ourselves. When we are honest and speak the truth in love to ourselves—it can be brutal. Taking a personal assessment of our spiritual condition—our hunger, maturity, prayer life, Word-life, depth, passion for eternal things and commitment to growth and sacrifice—can be a bitter pill at first; however, it's a pill worth taking and it will make us grow.
Someone else can speak the truth in love—to us. When people we respect love us enough to tell us the truth, it may be tough to hear, but a wise man accepts those loving rebukes. When people we don't respect give us a spoonful of "truth medicine" it can almost cause us to gag; but if we have the maturity to receive it—we will grow!
The Holy Spirit can speak the truth in love—to our hearts. When the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts through the Word—and in those still small voice moments—He shines the truth light on areas of lives that need attention. While it's painful at times, there is a sweet sense of relief, too. We know that He only speaks the truth in love for our benefit, so that we grow up in all things!
If someone—you, others or the Holy Spirit—speaks the truth in love to you, don't resist, rebel, get defensive, make excuses or go into a depression; just take an honest inventory and let the Lord use it to help you grow up.
Say It: “Father, the truth sometimes hurts, but I have enough sense to say bring it on. I thank You for helping me, others and the Holy Spirit speak the truth in love to me, so that I can grow up into all that You want me to be and do. In Jesus' Name. Amen."
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