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Categorized | From the Pulpit

Speaking the Truth In Love

Rev. Kim DeLong

Courtland Oakfield United Methodist Church

10295 Myers Lake Ave NE • Rockford, MI 49341

 

Our worship series for the month of August at Courtland Oakfield United Methodist Church is titled “…In Love.”  Given the public and political discourse lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and praying about what it means to “speak the truth in love.” In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he tells us that speaking the truth in love means building each other up, and growing up ourselves into becoming the Body of Christ.

It reminds me of a wonderful woman of the church in which I grew up. Betsy was not outspoken, but when she did speak everyone listened. Her words were always wise and kind. When she offered critique, it was constructive; never tearing a person down, but offered in such a way that the person knew they were loved.

I’m grateful for Betsy’s example for how to speak the truth in love. I’m grateful for the wise words and helpful suggestions she offered. Her words and the manner in which she spoke let me and others know that she was cheering us on. What she said helped us grow, to become more mature in our actions and our own words.

People like Betsy give me hope that we really can be kind to one another, that there is a way to offer helpful comments or a differing opinion that doesn’t tear another person down even if those in the public and political arena continue to descend into harmful and hurtful speech. Mature persons who can speak the truth—and do it with care—offer us an example of how we might disagree without being disagreeable.  

Who has built you up either with their words or their actions? How can we use our words so that they contribute toward understanding each other rather than creating distance between us? We cannot control other people’s behavior but we can control our own. Let us begin by speaking with kindness and generosity even when we disagree, especially when we disagree. In doing so, we offer others the hope of a world that can build each other up, not tear each other down. 

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