God’s been reminding me about how important it is to speak truth in love to people. Last week at morning prayer, we were thinking about speaking truth in love.
And this last week, we had a Jehovah’s Witness come to our door. We invited her in for a chat which lasted nearly thee hours. During the course of the afternoon we realised that our major difference in theology was about the Trinity; something which we as Christians hold to be a major and fundamental Christian doctrine. Towards the end of the discussion, she pointed out how surprised she was that there were Christians out there who didn’t start threatening her and condemning her to hell, and who weren’t abusive, offensive or rude to her.
Isn’t it worrying that the inference was that there are Christians out there who threaten, condemn, abuse, offend and make rude remarks to people? I was certainly taken aback. Being always ready to give an account of what you believe doesn’t mean to lash out at every opportunity. In fact, we’re always meant to set an example, to be as gentle as a dove whilst at the same time being as wise as a serpent.
So I’m really thinking over what it means to speak truth in love. Does it mean watering down our opinions and beliefs? Of course not; it’s obvious that people are going to get hurt at times by what we say. But there is a manner in which we say things and a behaviour which we should adopt when speaking to people.
I think this manner and behaviour are too often forgotten about in the Church. So until we get our manner as Christians sorted out, what right do we have to moan about the attitude of the world, when it may be to us that the world look to for direction?