Ephesians 4.15 says, ‘Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.’

Ah, i get it now! When i read ‘Share without pretending’ i had no idea what this was going to be about, but the verse link cleared it up. We are talking about speaking the truth in Love.

And i would add in Proverbs 27.6 for sure – ‘Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.’

Many people feel like Love is telling someone what they want to hear so that they feel good. Especially when it is the answer to question like ‘Do these jeans make me look fat?’ or ‘What do you think of my new hairstyle?’ [altho, to be honest, sometimes answering those questions ‘right’ are a matter of survival] but even with those, if you go for the self-preservation option, you might feel good about yourself for giving a favourable opinion, but if you are sending your special person out into the crowds looking ridiculous or with everyone else thinking, ‘my, she looks fat’, then it may not have been the most Loving response to give.

But those are very superficial examples. What about things that run deeper like behaviour or character issues?

I don’t know many people who enjoy conflict. Even when you are speaking the Truth in Love, in the moment you can leave feeling crappy and unloved. Later when the person has considered it, they may come back and thank you, but often it is a thankless role. But do it anyway!

Look at that verse, ‘Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.’ – later on, in Paul’s letter to Timothy, you read this: ‘For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.’ [2 Timothy 4.3]

An enemy is someone who gives you a big thumbs up “Yes!” when they know full well that the answer they should be giving is a “No!” Someone who celebrates when you get drunk and hit on some girl, even though you have a girlfriend who is not with you. Someone who looks the other way with you when you tell them about the shady business deal you are contemplating. Kiss. Kiss. Kiss.

i have one friend [and only one, so don’t you try it] who used to be able to come up to me when i would hang out with him at a coffee shop and say, “Bud, you’re looking fat!” and i would dig it. well, not a lot, cos i know it would mean a lot of work of being careful what i ate and upping the exercise and so on, but we had such a strong relationship that he felt the freedom to be able to wound me [in Love] and i would receive it as an act of friendship. i would probably receive that word well from a lot of other people, but they would HAVE to be a lot more careful with their wording.

when a good friend says something or does something to wound you, you should be able to step back from the wounding and focus on the fact that you know the heart and character of this person and are secure in their Love and friendship and so why did they do that thing? i need to really hear what they were saying and honestly evaluate whether it is true or not. [because sometimes friends will get it wrong, i certainly have a lot… but if the wounding is done in Love and with the best of intentions and heart it becomes something that will quickly be healed]

this is about TRUST and ACCOUNTABILITY and INVITING PEOPLE TO SPEAK INTO YOUR LIFE and STRONG RELATIONSHIP. and it is such a powerful thing. when you know that you have friends who will risk themselves to speak Truth to you in Love [because they see your bigger picture character and life as more important than the immediate response you might have to it] then you have a powerful thing.

as i seek to be someone who speaks Truth to my friends in Love, i need to constantly be asking myself, ‘Am i willing to receive the same kind of treatment from others?’ and ‘Who are the people who i have invited to hold me accountable with their Love-filled woundings?’

What has been your experience in this area?

to look at enjoying without complaint, go here.