Galatians Study/ Holiness

Speaking the Truth in Love

Learning how to speak the truth in love can be a challenge for some of us. Often times our speech is filled with judgement and lacking grace. We are commanded to speak the truth in love, learn how you can make that possible in your own life.

Have you ever read over the same chapter in the Bible and feel like you aren’t getting anything out of it? We’re supposed to get something out what we read, right?! Sometimes God uses others in our lives to show us what it is that He wants us to learn.

I had to go to my husband for some direction with Galatians chapter 4. I was having a hard time gleaning anything. Have you been there?

He emailed what he believed to be the take away from chapter 4 – speaking the truth in love.

As I mulled it over, it hit home. This was what I needed to get from this chapter but wasn’t seeing. The Lord used my husband’s wisdom to teach me a lesson.

Speaking the truth in love has not been an area in which I have excelled.

I tend to be more blunt and direct. Speaking my mind without considering how it may come across to the person to whom I’m speaking.

It has landed me in some deep waters in the past.

My family knows me as the one who isn’t afraid to say what’s on my mind. If you have sin in your life I’m going to tell you its wrong and that I don’t agree with it. I’m not going to enable you. I’m not too good at sugar coating things. Because that’s how it would feel to me.

Yet, there is a balance between sugar coating things and speaking the truth in love.

One enables the sin while the other address the sin and the need for change while still standing for your convictions in a grace-filled manner.

I’ve had relationships end because of the lack of grace given from everyone. Instead of addressing things correctly with speaking the truth in love, pride, criticism and offenses reigned supreme and the relationships die off because everyone ends up with hurt feelings.

Not a good place to be. I’ve walked that road. Spiritual growth along with some maturity has guided me down a different path over the last few years.

The Bible is clear on the fact that God wants us to be unified within the body of Christ. Speaking the truth in love is one way in which we can achieve this.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Psalm 133:1  

In chapter 4 of Galatians, we see that Paul was not afraid of offending the people to tell them the truth.

 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? Galatians 4:16 

Paul speaks pretty bluntly and forcefully to the Galatians throughout the entire book (O foolish Galatians he calls them!). He was their spiritual father so he had some friendship points in the bank to spend against them.

But even with that said, he was not afraid to risk their displeasure in order to zealously give them the truth. It’s clear that we shouldn’t sit ideally by.

We need to balance grace and truth when we deal with people.

This should be how we deal with people. If we have nothing but grace, we won’t offend anyone, but people we love and care about may end up hurting themselves because we won’t speak up and do something. If we have all truth, we may end up turning people away from the Lord because they see us as harsh, blunt, and unloving.

Paul here shows us how to mix grace and truth correctly.

While he speaks harshly, we still see him pausing to praise them for the things that he was impressed with.

Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. Galatians 4:15  

How do we do this? How do we not sugar coat but speak the truth in love? How do we not come across as overbearing or judgmental?

For the sake of our relationships, we need to grow in this important area! People and relationship matter to God and if we are honest they matter to us. We need people in our lives.

 Learning how to speak the truth in love can be a challenge for some of us. Often times our speech is filled with judgement and lacking grace. We are commanded to speak the truth in love, learn how you can make that possible in your own life.

How to Speak the Truth in Love

Humble yourself.

Pride will destroy every relationship that it’s invited into.

Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom. Proverbs 13:10  

Others will be more willing to hear what you have to say when they see humility instead of pride.

You can’t control the other person in conversation but you can control yourself.

Speak privately.

Who wants to feel scolded in front of people? Anyone? I don’t think we are all raising our hands for this one.

If you have something to discuss with someone, do them a favor and do it privately.

Don’t do all of the talking.

If there’s one thing that turns people off it’s the feeling of being lectured.

Don’t lecture people. Let them do most of the talking.

Talk about your own inadequacies.

Remind whomever you are speaking to that you do not have it all together. That you are not perfect.

Speak the truth.

Don’t sugar coat things, but rather sprinkle love and grace throughout your entire conversation.

Remind the person that you love them and want the best for them.

Praise the other person.

 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 

No one likes to be criticized. Our pride doesn’t like it. Remember this when talking to someone.

Say positive things about them. Say them often!

 

We are all going to be faced with circumstances that will cause us to have to speak up. Let’s make sure we are doing it in a way that brings honor to God and strengthens your relationships.

A big thank you to my husband for helping me see the light this week. I hope you all are as challenged as I am now!

 

Your turn! Do you find it hard to speak with truth and grace? Do you have any tips to add to the list?

This post may be linked up with any of these blogs.

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Mary Dolan Flaherty
    October 5, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    I have a similar trait. I can never understand how people get all bent out of shape and then ignore the person they’re mad at and that person never even knows that someone is mad at them! Me? I just spew verbal vomit all over the person—you know where you stand with me—and then I move on. I feel better. But in doing so, I often leave a smelly mess that doesn’t always come out in the wash so easy. Truth in love-yes, so important! We must always consider the feelings of the person we need to confront. It’s taken me many many years to learn this lesson, and I’m still a work in progress!

    I love: “One enables the sin, and the other addresses the sin with the need for change while still standing for your convictions in a grace filled manner.” Wow, that’s loaded, but so spot on! Great post, Anastasia. Your neighbor at Monday’s Musings.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      October 5, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      Oh Mary, it can be such a terrible habit to overcome but I believe we are blessed when we are trying. It shows that our heart is in the right place, even if we are a work in progress! Thanks for the encouraging comment this morning!

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    October 5, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    I’m finally learning these things as I get a little older and a little more into the word. I used to be a “say everything that’s on my mind” sort of person, but now I know when to be quiet and when to speak up. I know more to honor God in my words instead of letting my emotions control what I’m saying. Now, I’m working on forgiveness, being more forgiving, and not holding on to those grudges.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      October 5, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      I’m in the same boat with you Stephanie! Honoring God in my words, that is perfect!

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    October 6, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    This statement of yours really hit home to me this morning – One enables the sin while the other address the sin and the need for change while still standing for your convictions in a grace filled manner. I’ve been on both sides of this issue. I’m so sorry to say that I’ve lashed out at the sinner and not the sin. And I’ve also turned a blind eye to sin so as not to create a riff between another person. Your post gave me new insight into me and my prayer this morning is – “Lord let me be tough on sin and tender to the sinner.” Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      October 7, 2015 at 1:12 am

      Rebecca, I struggle as well. Love the sinner but hate the sin is so important to keep our relationships healthy and God-honoring. Too often our flesh gets the best of us and people end up hurt. Echoing your prayer as well. Thank you for stopping by and joining the community.

  • Reply
    Sarah Koontz
    October 7, 2015 at 12:56 am

    I like the idea of waiting until you are alone to confront, as people are less likely to be defensive. I tend to speak my mind also, and I have to force myself to wait until my opinion is asked for before I shout it from the rooftops. Important lesson in self-control.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      October 7, 2015 at 1:19 am

      Oh yes, self control is so important. Our flesh wants to speak instantly. I know I would want someone to talk to me privately so I need to do the same for others. Thanks for joining in our conversation, Sarah!

  • Reply
    Valerie Sisco
    October 7, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Hi Ana,
    I’m visiting from Holley’s link-up today! Your words caught my attention as you described yourself as blunt and direct because I’d have to describe myself that way too, as much as I’d love all my words to be gracious and sweet! Love is the missing ingredient and what can help deliver our words with greater care, isn’t it? Enjoyed my visit here today!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      October 8, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      So often I desire to have my words always seasoned with grace but I find myself failing all too often. I’m definitely a work in progress with you! So glad you stopped by and joined the conversation!

  • Reply
    Heaven
    October 7, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    I am not blunt and direct but would rather stay quiet when I should speak up. Your points are all good ones. I especially like the one about talking about your inadequacies. It always helps if people can sympathize if not empathize with each other. Then it seems like we are bearing each other’s burdens. Thanks for posting!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      October 8, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Good point! Moving people away from defensiveness can go a long way in diffusing a situation.

  • Reply
    Kathy
    October 7, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    This is such a good post with valuable insights! I’ll return to it again! I am more blunt than not, and it’s gotten me in tangles..I love your points of not sugar coating the truth, but finding ways to speak the truth in love..I love your points that help to make the other person feel safe and loved while truth is told. I recently heard a woman in our parent/theater program at school felt interrogated by another woman in a meeting about an issue..and she ran out crying and quit the group. You are right, speaking in private is better.. so many things you said are right on.. I often read the scriptures that focus on healthy communication, but often feel lacking ‘tools’.. of course more time with God always helps convict us, helps us see the planks in our eyes, but it also helps to have specific ways we can change our lacking communication habits. I so appreciate your words! Was attracted to the title of your post on #TellHisStory

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      October 8, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      That is so awful, I feel so badly for that woman. I would so humiliated in that situation! I never want to do that to someone else. I’m so glad that this could be a help to you! Arming yourself with the right tools will lead to more success as we pursue holiness. Thanks for coming by today!

  • Reply
    Carrie
    October 9, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    I fear the art of communication is suffering, mostly because of technology. I’ve made the mistake of trying to talk through an issue via email! Horrible mistake. The top lessons I’ve learned is humility and to strip the words “You were doing such and such” or “You didn’t do this or hat.” The “you” can make the other person defensive and a conversation killer. Thank you for sharing these tips!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      October 10, 2015 at 6:42 pm

      Oh boy, same here, Carrie. Or even text messages. It always ends up SO much worse than what it needed to be if we all had done things the right way. Thank you for joining in the conversation with us!

  • Reply
    Kristi Woods
    October 9, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Truth and grace are lifesavers for conversations. I love how you’ve listed suggestions for handling situations. Visiting today via #DancewithJesus.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      October 10, 2015 at 6:44 pm

      Exactly! We can diffuse so many situations with these tactics. Saving our relationships in the long run. I’m all for that!

  • Reply
    Trena Quesenberry
    October 10, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    One thing that I feel that God has impressed upon me is to help do a little house cleaning within the body of Christ, and that means pulling a brother or sister in Christ aside when you see them in error. But reading through your article, I was reminded of Galatians 6:1 (which you’ll be getting to soon in your study!) “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” When confronting anyone in error, we must do so in meekness and humility, because the possibility exists that we could fall into the very same sin ourselves. We’re not above it. Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      October 10, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      Yes! Such truth! That fact of we are not above it is exactly why we need not be critical but try to restore them. Praying for them, the situation and how to handle it will reap much more fruit than anger and bitterness. Thanks for jumping in the conversation!

  • Reply
    Sarah Donegan
    October 10, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    There really is a fine line to walk, and none of us can get it right on our own. These are great tips!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      October 10, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      We need the wisdom that only comes from Jesus to handle these situations, I completely agree!

  • Reply
    Kristin @ Biblical Wives
    October 14, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    I love that you included “don’t do all of the talking” in your tips. That’s something I’ve really been working on in all of my relationships lately.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      October 15, 2015 at 1:23 am

      It is so important! Sometimes you just have to do way more listening that you thought you were going to do but it may end up saving your relationship in the long run. Glad you joined in the conversation today!

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