Blog Wars, Godblogosphere, Love, Truth

>It Takes Two


“It takes two to speak the truth, – one to speak, and another to hear.” – Henry David Thoreau

How much of our so-called truth-telling is nothing more than shouting into the wind? What do we gain by throwing down the gauntlet of the truth when so often there is little to no true consideration for the well-being of the hearer? If the truth is flung out there apart from sincere love for the reader, what does it really accomplish?

“Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” – 1 John 3:18

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35

Yet we do not shy away from the truth. Paul knew that a true friend is a truth-teller. “So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?” – Gal. 4:16. It is not the truth-telling of true friends that I wish to lay aside but the supposed truth-telling of the one whose aim is merely to demonstrate that he is correct and you are wrong. Laying aside falsehood, we speak truth each one with his neighbor, for we are members of one another (Eph. 4:25) but much truth-speaking today seems to have much to do with pinning opponents to the mat and very little to do with the fact that we are members of one another. As we endeavor to speak the truth, let us remember to do so from a posture of love and kindness.

“Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3



3 thoughts on “>It Takes Two

  1. >Great post Jeff and nice comments Judy and Mike. I felt really convicted by reading this tonight. I have fallen way short in this area most recently with my supervisor at work. I ask for your prayers that God would continually help me to be a humble listener and a gracious speaker.

    Posted by hylander | September 19, 2007, 4:04 am
  2. >Good points Jeff and Judy. A good communicator tries to adjust his message to the hearer so that the message is decoded and received effectively and with the least amount of interpretive interference.That’s very hard to do, so it’s not surprising that most of us prefer the ‘drive-by correction’ approach to truth speaking. The pin-to-the-mat folks; the people who simply love speaking truth in order to show their own superiority, are probably compensating for a small phallus or lack of one (phallus envy). But still, as Judy mentioned, if you’re a truly good listener you can extract the truth from the assholish statements and make it useful to you. Selective listening is a beneficial tool in these type instances.Still another point implicit in Judy’s post is that being teachable, or humble enough to admit you can still learn something, is also a valuable tool.

    Posted by Mike | September 10, 2007, 3:11 pm
  3. >I like the quote that you opened with. To me, it seems that being a “hearer of truth” needs to be looked at more closely & more often. I’m always hearing about how to speak the truth in love, but rarely do I hear people discussing how to receive truth with humility. I think it’s common for someone to agonize over just how to be loving & truthful to another, only to have the hearer respond out of pride, which then puts the speaker on defense, and so on and so on. I’d like to hear more about people’s thoughts on this.

    Posted by Judy | September 9, 2007, 10:46 pm

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