Paul told the Ephesians that maturity in Christ and speaking the truth in love are interconnected. He went on to say that our words should be used “for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Eph. 4:29). Using our words to build up other people rather than tear them down is an area of growth for most people, myself included. In this blog series, we will explore what it means to speak the truth in love.
Our words have power. Here are some proverbs showing how powerful our words can be:
The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
but the speech of the upright rescues them.” ~ Prov. 12:6
“The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” ~ Prov. 12:18
“The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked, but gracious words are pure in his sight.” ~ Prov. 15:26
“Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” ~ Prov. 16:24
If you consider that God spoke the world into being and that we were created in God’s image, we should recognize the God has entrusted us with a heavy responsibility in giving us speech – a gift and responsibility he did not give to any of His other creatures. Our words have power, as you have likely experienced yourself. Harsh words can cut like a knife while kind words can instill hope and courage.
I experienced years of ongoing, severe child abuse between the ages of 6 and 11, and the verbal abuse was the hardest to heal from. Physical wounds heal, but harsh words can continue to wound for decades if the wounded do not learn how to forgive, which was my story for a very long time. As Christians, we need to take responsibility for the words that come out of our mouths and apologize & make amends when we don’t. Nobody speaks the truth in love naturally – it’s a discipline that we must learn. I hope this blog series helps with this process.
To be continued…
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace sitting behind a desk that says, “Just my two cents.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]