Ephesians 4:15 tells us to speak the truth in love and I don’t think I do that very well. I can tell the truth, but I can be harsh. I can love, but that usually comes out as giving of myself and not necessarily in a time that requires truth-telling.
Which one matters most? The love or the truth? Does love mean, like Peter says, with gentleness and respect? Does speaking the truth mean pointing out or correcting someone according to Scripture regardless of their potential reaction? In other words, boldness? How do I make sure I don’t have a log in my own eye?
Prov 10:19 keeps coming back to my mind. It tells me when there are many words, sin is unavoidable. Well, I’ve proved that out about a million times. Does that verse apply to speaking the truth in love? In the shutting up, do I let a lie stand? Or is boldness called for?
We were grappling with this question in our book club the other night. With trepidation, we decided that there is a balance required between boldness and tenderness. We humans can be fragile, and we agreed that it was never Jesus’ intention to be cruel in the name of boldness.