“Who are you, poor man?”
The beggar said:
“I am – a man who speaks the truth, so wherever I go, I am banished”.
The old man was surprised. After entertaining the dinner guest and eating, they went to bed. In the morning both got up, and ate breakfast. The beggar saw that the old man is one-eyed, and said to his face, “your face is crooked.”
The old man insulted, kicked him out of his house, saying;
-“You cannot find a place for yourself and turn out to be hated by all, because you do not tell people the truth, but reproach people for their shortcomings.
Said without love, the truth looks like an insult.
We are to consider and apply Ephesians 4:15 “Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” If we are to grow up in Christ in the context of our conversations, the apostle Paul commands two things about our words. First he makes a command about the content of our speech—it must be truthful. Second, he makes a command about the method of our speech—it must be loving. Everything we say needs to be both wise and loving. Our speech is to be full of gracious candor.
Furthermore, we need to pray before, during and after both what you and another speaks when in a dialogue. The Bible tells us to ‘pray without ceasing’ (I Thessalonians 5:17) and when one is about to confront another on some sensitive issue, prayer must be the starting point. Understand, that God will not let you speak if you are asking in prayer, if the speaker in your dialogue is not ready to receive.
Know this my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak. James 1:19 When I consider myself with sober judgment, and count your interests as more significant than my own, then this command makes perfect sense.
Galatians 6:1 – Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
This verse also denotes, that we are confronting the person because God has laid a truth on our hearts concerning another person’s beliefs or actions that need to change. But, turning a person’s focus in on himself or herself, instead of toward God, is not helpful. We are not to be guided by our feelings or opinions during the discussion. Neither do we want the other person to merely feel better. Sometimes truth hurts, but pain and resistance allows others and ourselves to grow. We cannot conform to today’s culture of tolerance, and if we attempt to promote a “cure” that only fixes the symptoms without addressing the root of the problem, we also fall in to sin of deceiving. How much more dangerous to convince someone that they are innocent, or good enough, in God’s eyes when in reality they are guilty (Romans 3:10) and deserving of His judgment?
When a person believes that ‘all he needs is within him’, he relies on himself and actually cuts himself off from the true source of life…God. The power needed to change the heart is spiritual power that only comes through an intimate relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Apart from God, we can do nothing to rescue ourselves or anyone else (John 15:5).
Finally, during the conversation, we are to ensure the person to whom we are speaking knows he or she is not in a hopeless situation. Regardless of what the issue is that prompted the need for confrontation, God is the cure. He forgives us, gives us understanding, and empowers us to live the way He wants us to live. Anytime we ‘speak the truth in love’, the ‘truth’ must be God’s truth, the ‘love’ must be God’s love, and we must be His faithful servants as we share both with those to whom we speak.