"Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church."- Ephesians 4:15
"What are you accusing me of? I don't like what you are insinuating," I shouted at a client. Although it was not directly stated, someone was calling my integrity into question-- and stealing my reputation as a result. At first, I addressed the client's concerns with patience and compassion, but as the argument escalated, simple concerns turned into character assassinations. As the conversation became heated, so did my temper. Soon the words I was allowing flow from my mouth were far from the kind and compassionate ones spoken just a few moments before.
It was easy to see that the argument was simply an attack from the enemy meant to divide us. But instead of taking a breather and reflecting on the good working relationship we had for months, the words I used (although speaking truth) were unacceptable because they were missing one important ingredient-- love. My heart was quickly emptied of compassion, kindness and gentleness and filled with selfishness and greed. Instead of laying down my rights, I was holding onto them for dear life. Instead of blessing the client, I was reacting out of past hurts and anger. I was speaking the truth, but certainly not loving the individual when I was doing it.
I find it interesting the distinct connection between our words and our hearts. We can say our hearts are pure, but are our words? Truth is only as good as a person's heart is willing to receive it.
Are you speaking the truth, only to have it fall on deaf ears? How can you change your words so the truth can penetrate the receiver's heart?