” But speaking the truth in love may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”

Ephesians 4:15

If we are to know truth and to speak and live out truth it must be known and practiced in love, which means we must desire the good of others while speaking the truth. That was the difference between the Pharisees’ attitude toward sinners and Jesus’ attitude. Jesus actually cared about the souls of the sinners.

Sometimes love requires confronting people, but it must be done in the right way and only over the right issues. If you spend your life correcting people you will finish up with no credibil- ity and no friends.

Sometimes our motive for speaking the ‘truth’ is putting a person in his or her place. Maybe we are not thinking about the person at all. We just feel compelled to correct his mistake or sort out a mishap, and so we speak out or take action, only to find matters getting worse.

Remember love is not self seeking, not rude; it does not use the aggressive, heavy-handed approach. It forgets about the need to be accepted and makes sure that what the other person hears is filtered only by kindness. When you confront someone in love, don’t be upset if you get an angry response; the right medicine does not taste good but it heals.

Let your operating word be to encourage. We are to be about the business of building up, of encouraging the body members of Jesus Christ. And once we understand that; once we operate out of that motivation, we will find ourselves wiser. Nevertheless, by failing to act out of love and out of the desire to build up our brother or sister, we work against ourselves.

What marks the wisdom of an individual is his ability to not only knows what is truth but how to get that truth accepted. His chooses his words carefully so that he will be heard. He will add persuasiveness to his lips. He will speak gracious words that are received like a honeycomb.

True forgiveness requires God’s help, with God’s love and power, forgiveness is always possible. If you have not forgiven someone today you must make it a point to forgive him or her. Until you do, you will be in a prison and it is a prison without bars but believe me it is a prison nonetheless. Forgiveness is Christianity in action.

Garment of Praise

Monthly Insights for Spiritual Growth, Encouragement and Personal Victory.

Oluyemisi Onanuga

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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