KINDNESS and TRUTH should always hold hands. Together they are powerful and fully capable of spreading insight and revelation, conviction and true repentance. However, one without the other is never beneficial or profitable.
When truth is spoken with callousness, or merely in a hurried fashion, discourse will surely follow. By forgetting to speak honest words, with the love of God backing them up, our candor will put folks off. This hinders the effectiveness they could have and the ability for someone to receive them.
“Let not kindness and truth forsake thee: Bind them about thy neck; Write them upon the tablet of thy heart” Proverbs 3:3 (ASV)
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.” Proverbs 12:22 (NKJV)
“ Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another.” Ephesians 4:25 (NKJV)
Ephesians 4:25 instructs us to put way lying and speak truth to our neighbors. This applies to our friends and family as well. Although sincerity is not always easy, the Lord requires it of His children. He does not lie, therefore He expects us to make a concerted effort to follow in His footsteps.
Truth is supposed to establish trust and/or restore and build up relationships. Truthful words are hard to share but they are even harder to hear and receive. A spirit of humility and sincere love, when speaking words of truth, should always be a prerequisite if God is leading you to confront someone. We are all sinners and it is imperative to remember this fact. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. We all have seasons when we are trapped and ensnared by the entanglements of sin.
A reputation of honesty is certainly worth its weight in gold. Just be sure kindness and the love of Christ is present when realities are shared or addressed. Certainly we are to “Do to others as we would have them do to us.“ (Luke 6:31 NIV)
If you find a friendship has been destroyed by truths, first look to yourself (and not the other) when finding fault. Maybe your tone lacked compassion and your emotions got in the way. Sin should be confronted with truth but be sure God is leading you to acknowledge it and wait for His leading to speak. He knows when the time is right for the arrow of truth to pierce the soul, and hit its mark.
Godly truth will cut down the lies of the enemy and it should bring about true conviction and sorrow, spiritual growth and joy. But then again, some hearts are so hardened and deceived it may take many arrows to finally pierce their spirit and bring about true repentance. This is where prayer and intercession must step in, never loosing hope in the ability of God to lead a sinner to the mercy seat of God.
“These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.”
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth.” John 17:17 (NKJV)
“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” John 16:13 (NKJV)
“These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbor;
Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace” Zechariah 8:16 (NKJV)