Speaking the Truth in Love...
We all need open, honest, compassionate dialogue!
By Paul Hayden
October 16, 2017
There is an immense need for productive dialogue in our country and in the world - reasonable, rational, thoughtful, honest, and compassionate debate and discourse on how to solve our problems and improve our country. We have problems that are affecting us all now, or they will be soon enough. How can we have this discourse? Quite sadly, I am thinking more and more that this is not even going to be possible in my lifetime, or perhaps ever.
A little study from some ancient words of wisdom and admonishment.
Speaking: Conversing with another, using words to convey thoughts and ideas.
Remember, not everything you think should necessarily be uttered. We should all learn to think through what we are going to say - before we say it. I have seen how you can just blurt something out, and THEN realize that you shouldn't have said it, or maybe you could have said it differently.
The Truth: Honesty, not a lie in any form, accurate facts, reality, no deception.
There are ways to tell the truth, without saying too much or too little. Just because you share some FACTS, does not make the sharing of them 'the truth.' For instance, picture this:
Question: "Does this dress make me look fat?"
Answer: "No. Your fat makes you look fat." DO NOT ever do this with your wife.
In Love: Not hateful or hurtful, with care and concern, tender devotion, helpful, timely, valuing the person to whom you are speaking, as well as the situation you are in.
How you say something is important. When you say it can matter, too - good timing can help.
God cares about us - He loves us. We are His creation, not just some accident. He knows how we work. And He knows what works and what doesn't work for us. There are ways to help create solutions, and then there are ways to start (or escalate) disagreements into arguments, arguments into battles, and battles into wars.
I Timothy 1:5 - "But the goal of our instruction is (or should be) love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith."
We cannot FORCE people into being loving - that is an oxymoronic suggestion. Love is a willing gesture, an action of the heart and mind that indicates affection, nurturing, and not only the wishing for another's well-being, but an offering of help and assistance to that end. We can (and must) work toward that goal of love - it is certainly not automatic in us.
All people have the same basic needs: see Reality Therapy - a great little book by Dr. William Glasser, 1965. He points out that everyone, from a "Chinese infant girl...(to) a Swedish king," needs certain things to meet their needs - to be alive in a human way. This is besides the obvious - food and water, and shelter. But more and deeper than that, everyone has "the need to love and be loved and the need to feel that we are worthwhile to ourselves and to others." (p. 9) It is what makes us human. In the measure that these needs are not met, we function on a lower level than we might be living, and this creates problems.
If we were to give ourselves to love, to being loving, what a difference it would make in this world, in our country, and with all those with whom we live and work. If you are looking for meaning in your life, perhaps you should see that your purpose in life might be to see that life itself is the meaning!
Paul Hayden is a Christian believer, and an American patriot, necessarily in that order. He is a student of the Bible, and is avidly interested in our role in the context of history, as understood through the heart and eyes of faith. Paul has lived and traveled somewhat widely, and now lives in the heartland of the U.S. (central Illinois), with his wife Donna - they have five grown children. Since December of 2016, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief of www.ConservativeTruth.org.
"I was raised by a Christian minister, Kenneth Hayden, until his death when I was 10. Then my mom married a farmer. So I was raised in a very down-to-earth home. My faith has grown through the years, but both in conjunction with the institutional church and through small groups and individuals, including books as well as group settings, where deep, sincere faith is shared that aligns with Biblical truth."