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"We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church." Ephesians 4:15

How do we speak the truth in love? Some {I fall into this category too often} assume speaking truth means speaking in a blunt and concise manner, throwing a hyperbole out into the air, hoping to pierce the heart of the "sinner." As I reflected over this verse this morning, I was reminded that speaking truth without love is useless; in fact it is detrimental and will destroy. I was reminded that throwing a hyperbole of truth at someone's face will not inspire action or repentance or love, but the very opposite.

Speaking the truth in love doesn't always come easy. But if we remember how Paul instructed us to be loving, we can confidently lean into Jesus' spirit for strength. Click here to be reminded of how to love others.

Speaking with harsh rudeness, speaking with agenda of self-seeking, speaking with an impatient or critical tone, speaking without kindness or with jealousy...those all all opposite of love. Let us both check our hearts: am I bitter and entitled or am I seeking the better good for them, with a pure heart?

{As Christians we don't often forget that we are to hold each other accountable as brothers and sisters. But we are too quick to forget that we are on the other side of that equation -- that we are asking others to hold us accountable. Proverbs repeats time and time again how wise it is for us to accept instruction, to receive correction with a joyful heart. I pray that as Christ's body, we can all grow in our understanding and learn to love correction, and that we can learn to correct lovingly. We walk and breathe by grace, so why would we dare correct without it, lacking the very thing that keeps us breathing & hoping & strengthened? Know that I am a big part of this "we."}

Also! I have been really excited to be flourishing in speaking the truth. I mean, flat out just telling people they are LOVED. The last two waitresses I have been in contact with were obviously stressed out and flustered. People to wait on, meals to serve, orders to take, demands to answer. I decided to stare both of them (these were two different meals) square in the eyes, and these words fell right out of my mouth: "You are doing great! Do you know how loved you are? ... I mean, you are LOVED." The first waitress smiled and then I think once it sunk in is when her face truly softened. Her eyes stared back at mine. I thought she might cry. Her shoulders relaxed and she said "Thank you. So much." I am pretty sure Jesus just rocked her heart there in that restaurant.

I tell my girls every time I see them how deeply loved they are. Not flippantly, but I grab their shoulders and I remind them how loved and valuable they are. Friends! Join me in this. Nothing bad can come of it. Speak those truth words in love to people and I assure you that you will grow in EVERY WAY more and more like Jesus.

Read HERE why I memorize scripture, and you should too!