Speak The Truth In Love
There is a way to say something to a person, that is loving and considerate. Many times people will have good intentions when they come to talk to a friend or family member, but the way they say things comes out harsh or critical.
Consider how you would like to be spoken to, and use this same consideration for those you speak to. Ask yourself if what you are saying is really necessary. Sometimes the best help you can give to a friend who is going through a hard time is to just be a good listener.
If your friend is struggling with sin, consider your own sins before speaking. You know how many times you also make mistakes, even though you knew ahead of time that what you were about to say or do was wrong. People make mistakes, and this is why I came into the world. Be a good friend, and be tender in your advice. Be gentle, and let those whom you speak to feel that your intent is to help—not criticize or condemn.
By doing these things, you work to bring unity amongst those who know Me, and build your fellowship together rather than create hard feelings and division.
But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. ~Ephesians 4:15-16
Stop being mean, bad-tempered, and angry. Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others should have no place in your lives. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ. ~Ephesians 4:31-32 (TLB)
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. ~Romans 12:9-10 (NLT)
Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? ~James 2:15-16 (NLT)
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. ~1 John 3:18-19 (NLT)
Dear brothers, if anyone has slipped away from God and no longer trusts the Lord and someone helps him understand the Truth again, that person who brings him back to God will have saved a wandering soul from death, bringing about the forgiveness of his many sins. ~James 5:19-20 (TLB)
You are right, Lord. Sometimes I forget to be kind and thoughtful when I talk to people. I make up my mind about what I think is happening and forget that I cannot really know what the other person is going through or how they feel.
Give me an understanding and compassionate heart, Jesus. Allow me to place myself in their situation and give the same tenderness I would like to receive if I was in their place.
I want to be one who builds up the Body of Christ and makes unity possible, rather than a person who gossips and creates division and hurt feelings. Give me wisdom in these areas, Lord; for I am a foolish person sometimes, and I often need to be more loving and kind in my encounters with people.