Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- September 14, 2011
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ…” Ephesians 4:15
Sometimes Christians can be too nice, because there are unrealistic expectations of total harmony and complete happiness. However, utopia doesn’t happen until we get to heaven. In the meantime, we are sinners in need of a Savior—we are saints who struggle to get along from time to time. Healthy relationships and authentic community flow freely when sharing from the heart and communicating concerns with candor and care.
But unaddressed and unresolved issues will eventually come out in anger or be concealed in apathy. So make sure in your family and at work you create safe environments for everyone to express how they really think and feel. Perhaps you ask others to vent their frustrations after you have prayed together. Prayer prepares your heart to give and receive truth delivered in love. Hearts softened by prayer are sensitive to hear Spirit-led speech.
“For the ear tests words as the tongue tastes food” (Job 34:3).
Indeed, the spirit in which information is conveyed can be the difference between effective and ineffective communication. A person of prayer addresses hard issues without attacking an individual. Like the delicious juice of a homegrown tomato, respect and kindness ooze from their words. God speaks through words spoken frankly, friendly, by faith and without fear. Caring candor keeps Christ in the center of the conversation.
So, become a bold vessel of truth—but only after you have gone boldly to God’s throne of grace. Become empty of yourself, before you talk with others about themselves. Furthermore, invite and receive truth from others—especially hard truth. Your willingness to learn and be transformed by truth will lead others to do the same.
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).
Who needs my caring candor about a hurtful issue or pending opportunity?
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