Forgetting to Tell the Truth in Love

Jerod Clark

Brett Barner
February 1, 2010

I struggle with this a lot. How much is being honest and how much is crushing someone's spirit. A good portion of how this plays out is the way the recipient plays out to the constructive criticism.

February 1, 2010

Not to highjack the thread, but this challenged me as a Christian parent of a teen and a 'tween'. I have to tell the truth - they'll set me straight if I don't! :D - but how I tell it and that balance of too gentle and too hard is the question. For me it's easier to find that balance with those outside the family, but it seems harder within...as a parent I have to guide and train our children, but I also have to recognize that I have a responsibility to encourage and uplift as well. That's where I need the prayers!

Jason Coker
February 1, 2010

There's a subtle but hugely significant difference between being honest about your thoughts, feelings, opinions, and ideas on the one hand and speaking the truth on the other. Some of the most destructive moments in relationships - especially marriages - occurs when we're "just being honest."

The truth is, we don't know the truth most of the time. Part of growing up involves coming to grips with what you don't know, what other people don't know, and what level of truth everyone is ready to deal with given their current state of self-delusion. 1 Cor 8 is the best source of wisdom for this dilemma.

February 1, 2010

I, too, am a fairly blunt person and have been know to "step on a few toes". I have to confess that sometimes it has been intentional but as I've grown older and matured, I've taken some advice from my wife and avoided those pitfalls. Her counsel has been, "Always speak the truth . . . but don't always speak." There are now times when I will refrain from commenting (or even answering a direct question) because I have determined that there is no good to come of it. I steadfastly refuse to lie but sometimes I just keep quiet.

As a manager, I learned that sugar-coating the truth is of no help to anyone. If someone is doing their job poorly, no one benefits from dancing around the issue but that doesn't mean that one has to be cruel in his truthfulness. We have a responsibility as Christians to be honest in forthright in every circumstance but we also must understand that we can't use that responsibility as weapon to simply hurt another for no reason.

February 1, 2010

God wants us to speak our mind. Because if our mind is set on God, His truth will always be spoken. Ugly, beautiful. Whatever. Gods nature is not always apparent, but his plan is always perfect.

Matt The Church Of No People
February 1, 2010

That's a tough one, especially since, contrary to my online persona, I am not a blunt person. Sure, I can tell it like it is, as long as the person concerned is not in front of me. Telling the truth depends on us getting rid of our need to be liked.

February 1, 2010

Truth is definitely good, but it is not the only good. Jesus was a good model of this, I think, because while he spoke hard truths to people, he did so in a respectful way, and always out of love. I think that "being honest" is something you have to do calmly, when you are in control of your own emotions so your anger or need to be right or whatever doesn't get the best of you.

If you want to tell a difficult truth, and can't think of a way to do it tactfully, I think it bears asking yourself: what do I hope to accomplish by telling the truth? In some cases the truth is crucial, like when someone is entering into a destructive relationship or putting themselves in danger. But other times, being told the truth will hurt more than living without knowing the truth. In that case, I would say the truly Christian thing to do is to remain silent, and value that person's well-being above your own drive to speak openly.

February 2, 2010

Most of the time 'I tell it like it is' & that of course is not always how it really is--just how I see it! Because Jesus IS the Truth as well as the Way & the Life, Truth is really real & not just an abstract concept. I have found I can be much more 'blunt' when speaking to a group of people than speaking with one or two,maybe it is because I am seeing them as individuals loved by God rather than an audience.

February 3, 2010

Telling the truth is always a good thing. However, as you pointed out, we have to tell the truth in love. What exactly does this mean? To me, I think that if we tell the truth with care as to not hurt the individual, we may be able to do good instead of harm. We should always strive to EDIFY one another. When we tell the truth and make ourselves available in helping the other person with the situation, we are not only "speaking" but doing. As long as truth is wrapped up in love, forgiveness and edification we can grow as people and as Christians.

February 4, 2010

I would like to say that god hate a lier i would rather know good or bad or even if it hurts then to walk around not knowing the true as the world always claim that the truth will set you free i firmly believe that and i also beleive that if you know that person and pull them to the side by there self that they would appreciate the truth and a lot of times they will thank you. i know that god hate a lier and turn his face from one this kind of information brought to everyone attention is kindly appreciate in jesus name amen.

February 5, 2010

It is hard to draw the line at times because we have to be honest but at the same time courteous and professional. In my business (real estate) telling the truth is difficult to do, actually i'm considering changing professions because of it. With each year that passes by, the more lawsuits that get thrown around, it seems we have to walk on more and more eggshells as career minded individuals.

what is the bible

James Moore
February 8, 2010

We should think of truth as the servant of love. It is possible to say or write something that corresponds with fact, and at the same time, grieve the Spirit of truth. We often take a satanic approach to truth (the definition of "satan" being "the accuser").
James 3:14 reminds us that "if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth."

Ahsante Masango
July 5, 2010

Thank you for posting this; it's thought-provoking, and well worth discussing in depth. Which is hard to do on a comment board...
Several things come to mind. When I have to tell someone the truth, that I may reasonably expect may cause them pain, I try to apply the Golden Rule. I try to be as tactful as possible, and I try to keep my words centered on "I perceive this..." "I feel this...", rather than accusing them. My take on it is that it not that the Truth per se that what hurts, but finding out the truth after being deceived. Does that make sense? If there is rational and truthful communication between a couple, for example, then there's no need for either to become defensive.
My understanding of some of Christ's message, is to love the person, but hate the sin. There's a difference between a person being humbled, and being humiliated. I believe that the root of 'repentence' is to 'turn away from' - we turn away from the sin, and turn towards God.
Telling the truth is usually not so easy, though. Did not Christ's words, "One of you will betray me" strike a response even in Judas' heart?
Or, what about the story of Esther - she could have been killed for telling the King the truth about one of his "trusted" advisors!
What "speak truth in love" means to me, is to address with love that part of the person which is most human and most sacred.
And, that is not always easy to do; but, I believe that when we approach a person with a certain amount of sensitivity, that IS understood by the person, but also brings out the best in us.

Marissa Stout83
February 8, 2011

God doesn't HATE anyone inculding "liers". God hates the sin of the lie. Not the LIAR. In the end, we are supposed to treat one another as ourselves would want to be treated. We are to love God with our whole heart, mind and soul. And perhaps we should remove the plank from our own eye before trying to remove the splinters from our peers eye. I think if everyone kept these things in mind, and if people would think before they speak, things would be different. There is a difference between telling the truth with full abandon and being judgemental.

Rose Samba
September 3, 2014

I think it is not easy to tell or even handle the truth. It can break and it can make, it destroys it builds, however, i feel we can act at our very best when we know that we know this is the truth and nothing but the truth. Our minds, emotions, feeling are not left out wandering or left guessing on what is alrealy laid before us, --the truth. we can achieve much more when we tell the truth than alter the truth. It will set me free. I'd rather be a prisioner of the truth, than have freedom full of lies. Joseph was a prisoner of the truth, in Portiphas house== Gods favour was always upon him. There is no truth that is told that God would fail to follow and protect the one telling it.

Add your comment to join the discussion!