Speaking the truth in love

  • Matt's Musings

Last week, I saw a tweet from a Welsh newspaper that stated, “Second coronavirus waves expected to peak on Christmas Day in Wales.” I like social media. It has been a very helpful tool during this period of lockdown, enabling us to stay in touch. However, apps like Twitter lend themselves to short, punchy, sound bites. We need to have our attention grabbed because one tweet is competing with thousands of others. One way we can ensure that our tweet gets people clicking on it, is to use emotional language. Another is to make bold claims in a headline without a great deal of substance behind it. The problem is that this way of speaking becomes the norm and it is very unhealthy.

The Bible teaches us to speak the truth in love. Two things follow from this. One is that it is not loving to not tell the truth. Sometimes that means we need to say painful and difficult things to people. The other one is perhaps less obvious and harder to put into words, but there is a sense in which it is not truthful to say something in an unloving way. If we speak the truth ‘without love’ then we are much more likely to choose language that is for our benefit rather than for the benefit of the person we are speaking to. The message then gets obscured.

Jesus is both truth and love. He says some things that are hard for us to hear. As we read the Bible, we hear his voice and we can feel exposed because of our guilt before him. But the same Jesus also holds out his arms and says, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest”. He demonstrates his love by laying down his life to rescue needy people like us from guilt, shame and ultimately death.

I finish with a challenge. If you know and love Jesus, with his help, be a person who speaks the truth in love and don’t let the culture squeeze you into its mould!