I have a favorite saying … “I won’t say it if it isn’t true.” Therefore, if you know me at all, you can rest assure if it comes out of my mouth, I believe it.
However, I also hate confrontation, so if I think I might hurt someone’s feelings, I might not say anything at all, even if speaking the truth would help them in the long run.
Maybe you’re the type of person who doesn’t have a problem speaking the truth and automatically speaks it in love to everyone you meet. While I’m not there yet, I’m learning that in certain relationships, speaking the truth in love is mandatory if we’re going to move from superficial to deep.
I’ve been married for 20 years now, and my husband and I have learned the best way to speak truth to each other. We both know we have each other’s best interest at heart and truth is spoken to help, not criticize or condemn.
Parenting is similar. I still don’t like when I have to have a difficult conversation with any one of my children, but I always try to “cushion it in love” when those discussions are mandatory.
Friendship should be treated the same way. While I’m not suggesting going deep with every single person you call “friend,” you know which ones are the relationships that need to dive deeper in order to keep growing … and which ones are best left closer to the surface. Both still meaningful … just different.
For me, I find it’s easier and a better response occurs when I bathe the “truth in love” with prayer before initiating the conversation. Whenever God is invited into the relationship, positive things happen.
How about you? What’s your personality type? Do you like to dive deep in your marriage, with your children, in your friendships? Or are you more comfortable floating around on the surface splashing in the water?
© Cheri Swalwell 2019