“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