Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day 17 :: How to Speak Truth

Speaking truth is not limited to just the one doing the speaking.

If we truly want our hearts to be driven by the truth, then we need to not only speak it to others, but we need to be willing to listen to the truth when it's spoken to us.

This is easy to say, not so easy to do.

When we know someone is going through a hard time, or challenging circumstance, our natural desire is generally to try and make it better for that person.  If we can't physically fix the problem, the next best thing, we conclude, is to say something that will make it seem less difficult.

Generally, when we are facing a hard time, we just want someone to offer some sort of hope or promise that life is going to turn out okay, our circumstances will change for the better, and our suffering will end.

This really boils down to one word:  comfort.

We want life to be comfortable, easy, smooth.  When it's not, we want desperately to change it.

God has not promised us that, though.  In fact, as tough as it is, we've actually been told the opposite:

Jesus talking to His disciples shortly before His death said,

"In the world you will have tribulation..."
John 16:33

Tribulation, trouble, difficulty, struggle--all of these happen because we live in a world that is tainted by sin.

So, when we are looking to speak to someone who is going through a troubling time,what do we say?

1. Pray.  Pray before responding, that the Holy Spirit would guide you to speak truth in a loving gentle way to the one struggling.  Pray together.  Philippians 4:6-7 says,

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds 
in Christ Jesus."

Speak to God about it first.  We might not understand what's happening but we can know tremendous peace in Christ.

2. Point to Christ.  The remainder of the passage in John 16 that I mentioned above says this; again it's Jesus speaking:
"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

In Jesus we can have peace because He has overcome the troubles of this world.

We can't fix people's problems, or make them understand, but we can plead with them to trust in the truths of Christ.

My almost four year old is starting to understand about death, and she asked me one day,
"Mommy, we're not going to die today, are we?"

The temptation would be for me to say, "No, honey, we're not going to die today."

But, do I really know that?  I can't promise her that we won't die on that day, but I can talk to her about what the Bible says about death, that Jesus has made a way for us to face death having the promise of eternal life.

I'm not filling her mind with lies, instead I'm pointing her to the truths of Christ.

Is someone fearful?  Share with them the truth that God never leaves us {Hebrews 13:5}.  We can't take away their fear, or promise safety, but we can know that God is with us in the midst of fear.

I could give countless examples of what to say in various situations.  The bottom line is that we need to speak the truth.  We need to know God's Word so that we can share His truth with those who are struggling.

What about the listener?  The one going through the difficult time?  We'll cover that tomorrow :)

To see a list of all posts in this series go here.

1 comment:

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