I’m not saying I’m a liar. I just have times when I’d prefer to stay in the quiet, conflict-free zone of silence. That’s the people-pleasing nature in me. I fear being misunderstood, disliked, dismissed. The truth sometimes seems, well … mean. It can come across as judgmental, unloving and rigid. The truth tends to stir up negativity and conflict.
Recent events in this nation and world have stirred something in me. A fresh determination to speak God’s truth boldly and often. Playtime is over. Evil is on the march and I’m determined to resist the urge to stay quiet. Remaining in the comfort zone of silence is a sin. That’s right, a sin.
Silence allows deception to flourish and take root in people’s hearts and minds. If I know the truth of God’s Word and promises, I have to share it. Even when few want to hear it. Even when it produces a painful sting.
Sharing is my responsibility as a child of God: I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly. Psalm 40:10
[Tweet “Silence allows deception to flourish and take root in people’s hearts and minds.”]
At the same time, I also have a responsibility to deliver truth in the same way Jesus did. In the same way that He has lovingly revealed painful truth to me about my rebellion, character flaws and sin. An incredibly high standard, indeed.
So how do we do it? And how does this apply to moms? Well, I believe we are modern-day Esthers, Moms. God has given us an incredible degree of position and influence over our children. Like Esther, “… who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
As we influence our children by bold truth-telling — as they watch our example — they’re more likely to be bold in truth-telling as well. And the ripple effect of that is amazing. We have to show them how to do it well. Here’s how we can use our influence to speak truth boldly, lovingly and effectively:
Ask God to help us love others — even those I don’t know or disagree with.
It’s the greatest command in the Bible. And it’s the place we have to start from if we are going to speak truth lovingly. When speaking truth is primarily about being “right” or making us feel good about ourselves, we’re sharing from a dangerous place. We can neither shy away from truth or wield it as a weapon against others.
Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 2:25
Jesus’ words were so powerful because they came from a place of incredible love for the people He was sharing with. We can’t love like Jesus on our own, but if we ask, the Holy Spirit can give us the power to love like He does.
[Tweet “We don’t share the truth because we’re good, but because He is. “]
Acknowledge our own brokenness.
Jesus always spoke Truth humbly. There was never a hint of self-righteousness — and He was the perfect Son of God!
When confronting sensitive issues, we have to drop the attitude that communicates, “I’m righteous and you’re not.” We all need to hear painful truth. It’s not just “someone else” who needs to hear it. We don’t share the truth because we’re good, but because He is. We need to face the truth about our own sin and character flaws and cooperate with God’s desire to change us.
Then we’re in a position where we can powerfully share our brokenness and testimony of God’s healing power. I’ve found that the more I reveal my brokenness and struggles, the more others are willing to listen to what I have to say. Humility is far more engaging than the false impression that we have it all together.
Social media can be a cesspool. I’ve seen so much hate and venom spewed as people have debated issues such as gay marriage and abortion. People tend to take their passion about an issue and redirect it into hatred of the people or groups that disagree with them.
Labels tend to lump people together and dismiss them.
Jesus spoke to the individual. He saw the person. We can still tell the truth, but when we do it in love, directed to one person, we are more likely to draw them closer instead of push them away.
[Tweet “We can neither shy away from truth or wield it as a weapon against others.”]
Don’t try to be the Holy Spirit.
Our job is to speak truth lovingly as the Holy Spirit leads. But it is not our job to change anyone’s behavior. It’s not even our job to change anyone’s opinion! Our job is obedience to what God prompts us to share. Period.
Be a good example of the Truth.
None of us will ever be perfect. But we should be making a consistent, deliberate effort to live out the truths that we claim to be so passionate about. Giving only lip service to our faith diminishes the power of our words.
In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. Titus 2:7-8
[Tweet “Giving only lip service to our faith diminishes the power of our words.”]
It’s impossible to speak truth out of ignorance or lack of context and discernment. We don’t have to know all the answers, but we have to be continually dependent on and seeking the wisdom of the One who does.
The state of the world has challenged me to know God’s Word like never before. To ask His Holy Spirit for wisdom and insight. I also need to better understand the other side. So when someone presents their argument, I can respond with knowledge and supernatural insight.
… Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15
True love, the kind the Bible talks about in 1 Corinthians 13, always acts in the best interest of the other person.
Even when it hurts. Because God’s love and truth is life, hope and freedom.
Silence, on the other hand, is deadly.