Speaking the truth in love. Ephesians 4:15a (KJV)
Why do words hold so much power? They capture our imaginations, inspire, encourage, bring laughter, and strengthen our spirits. But their power does not stop there. Words also hurt, discourage, divide, tear down, and destroy.
Nathaniel Hawthorne described them well: “Words—so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”
As a writer it is easy for me to take words for granted, focused on finding just the right ones; but I need to remember that guarding my pen is equivalent to guarding my tongue. It is easy to write “truth” in the name of “righteousness,” but if I do not temper that truth with love, I could be misrepresenting the heart of God, inadvertently lying about His character to the reader, isolating them from even wanting to know God. Satan can take it from there, whispering his words that sow bitterness and hate.
Jesus spoke powerful words as He hung dying so that we could live. He said, “Father, forgive them.” There was no hate, no “getting them back,” no guile—He spoke the truth in love. They didn’t know what they were doing. Those few words have impacted eternity in millions of hearts.
Now it is my turn—to build up and edify, love the brethren, and turn the other cheek when necessary. It is time for me to speak and write the truth in love.
Thank You, Father, for Your amazing Word: that we can still read it today, and that it will stand forever. Help us to guard our tongues and pens, heeding Your instruction to communicate with love.
© 2010 Katherine A. Fuller