Every once in a while I know a Sunday morning sermon is going to have me mulling on a thought for days. Today was one of them. I usually pick up some tidbit every week but in this particular case the pastor made a connection I have never really chewed on before. The Relationship Between Truth and Love.
Truth and love must go hand in hand to be truly effective.
I am very big on accountability. I believe the people in life who accomplish the most and make an impact are the ones who have people along with them for the journey. It would be easy for me to hit the alarm and not go to the gym in the morning if my sister wasn’t going to be there waiting for me. I could go weeks without properly warming up my voice and working on my music if it weren’t for that pesky voice teacher I see every Monday. And I could wait until the night before a show opens to get all my lines memorized if there wasn’t an entire cast depending on me to pull my weight.
We also all needs friends who speak truth into our lives- who handle the “inner” side of accountability. They tell us the hard things- the guy we are dating is a loser, we’ve gained weight, we’ve gotten lazy- whatever it is we need to hear. They call us out when we start to slip or our egos get too big.
Some people ADORE this job. I probably get 5 e-mails a month from people who watch me on television telling me I am fat, or my outfit looks bad or I should change my haircut. (None have ever offered to pay for my clothes or haircut so if they really bother you that much I am sure we could figure out some kind of arrangement!!!).
Perhaps some of these people have good intentions. I do have bad hair days and when I get backed up on laundry some of my outfits get creative. But the e-mails just go into the deleted folder because they are missing the key element that makes me mull over a truth.
If you want to speak truth into my life- to point out a flaw, to offer a suggestion, to lend a hand in a struggle- it is going to be a much better experience if there is already love. I’m more likely to consider your truth. And I don’t think I am alone in this.
“There are only two people who can tell you the truth about yourself – an enemy who has lost his temper and a friend who loves you dearly.” -Antistenes
“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”- Martin Luther King Jr.
“I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies.” – Pietro Aretino
“Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ”- Ephesians 4:15
So this week as I contemplate the relationship between Truth & Love I will be thinking about these things:
1. I will be thankful for those I already have. I am a truly blessed person that I already have a half dozen or so friends who can speak truth into my life in love. They are people whose opinion I trust and who have demonstrated to me they are worth my time and effort. I don’t want to take them for granted.
2. I will look at my motives when I talk to my friends. Many of the people who hold me accountable expect the same behavior from me. I want to always be sure that when I speak to them it is out of love and not selfish motivation. I also want to be sure that I know all about the situation and have provided love and comfort before advice.
3. I will be sure to continue to work on myself. If I am going to be a good friend I need to continue to develop who I am. I know I am a better person when I am eating healthy and working out. When I spend time reading my Bible and praying I stay better grounded and focused (if you don’t do either maybe some time meditating or journaling). My everyday decisions to be the best I can be don’t just affect me.
4. I will be available for those who need me. I don’t ever want to miss an opportunity to be open to help someone. We are surrounded by hurting people and so often divert our eyes from their needs because we are too self involved or busy. I will try this week to SEE the people around me and try to bless them.
I hope this encourages you and helps guide you through your week as you seek to love and be loved!