Life and ministry are messy. When your sitting in a class in college it all seems so easy. Everything is black and white, you can always look in a book for answers. I sometimes long for the day when I could sit in a class room and just think about ministry instead of having to get in the trenches and speak truth into peoples lives. Alas, that is not possible. We can’t stay in the classroom forever we are all called by God to get in the trenches. Whether it is ministry or any walk of life you eventually have to get into the real world. That is where it gets messy.
Speaking the truth in love is a very difficult thing. First and formost speaking truth in someone’s life is a struggle because sometimes we can stand up and think we are speaking “The truth” but in reality we are just speaking our truth. You can’t always know the difference, but I would tell you humility and prayer is where you should start. In any conversation about difficult issues you may end up offending someone or hurting someone because what you learned in class is all well and good, but this is someones real life and it can hurt. You need to be careful.
So how do you speak the truth in love? I often tell people that you can be right and wrong all at the same time. You can be speaking the truth but doing it as such a jerk that you get it wrong. You can do great damage and never get that truth to them because you speak in such a poor way. Speaking the truth in love is one of the hardest things in life to do. The second most important part of speaking the truth in love happens before you speak. Before you speak listen, listen, listen. You can’t speak the truth to someone without listening to them. Understand their story so you can speak truth into it. Lastly understand that you can speak all the truth and all the love you want to a person and sometimes they just won’t hear you. Sometimes their heart is hard, or sometimes you aren’t the one who gets to see their lives changed. Truth change happens when
This is hard part about speaking the truth in love. You do it to people, and people are messy. As you and I speak the truth to people. Let us remember to speak it in love.