Monday, June 6, 2011


Today you will notice the launching of a new name for my weekly devotional and prayer. We are transferring the ‘Prayer Force’ name to our Crossroads prayer list. Henceforth, the designation for my messages to you will be ‘Speaking the Truth in Love,’ from Ephesians 4:15, “….speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” So, I thought it appropriate to camp on this idea in my first message.

Christian businessman John Beckett, in his book Mastering Today, tells about the redemptive power of speaking the truth in love. He writes:

“I was in a dental chair being prepped for the replacement of a filling. Just as my mouth was filled with dental hardware so I could only mumble, the dental technician said, out of the blue, “You’re Mr. Beckett, aren’t you?” I grunted assent. “Well, I want to thank you for firing my husband.” I was stuck. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t speak. I could only listen to the ensuing monologue. “It happened ten years ago,” she continued, “but you called him into your office before he left. You said, ‘I realize I don’t have any choice but to terminate you, but I want to tell you something. You’re at a crossroads. You can keep going the way you are, and the results are very predictable. Or you can take this as a wake-up call. You can decide you’re going to turn your life around.’” I’m sure the technician couldn’t see the beads of perspiration on my forehead under all the paraphernalia as she continued: “I want you to know, my husband took your advice. Today, he’s a good father, a good husband and he has a good job. Thank you for firing my husband!”

It is never easy to confront someone. We would all rather be Barnabus, the encourager, than Nathan, the confronter. But, if we truly care about someone, we’ll speak up and speak the truth in love. We will have the hard conversation:

-When we see one of our children being negatively influenced by unwise friends.

-When we see a married co-worker/friend getting too close to a man in her office.

-When we see a friend who is neglecting his kids because he is too consumed with his career.

-When we see a student not working up to his/her potential.

In these situations, we pray hard, keep our emotions in check, choose our words carefully and guard our own humility, but we don’t beat around the bush. We speak the truth in love, because….we truly love, we truly care, we truly want the God’s deepest and best in the life of the other person.

Dietrich Bonhoffer wrote, “Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons others to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the reprimand which calls another Christian back from the path of sin.”

Pray with me…. Dear Father, help us to live the truth and speak the truth in love. Save us from spiritual superiority and pride. But, save us too from cowardice and apathy. Give us the courage and tough love to fight for the souls of the people in our lives who are temporarily blinded by sin or deceived by untruth. Make us all champions of what is right and true while maintaining a true spirit of humility. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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