Paul continues to inspire us that speaking the truth in love supports us in living as people full of God’s light. In fact, speaking loving truth leads to right thinking, understanding, closeness with God, closeness with others, soft heartedness, a good conscience, and redemption. These behaviors bring light and life to our lives as well as to the lives of others. Paul implies that getting things out in the open ought to be for these purposes, to build others up, and to rid ourselves of negative feelings and motives towards one another. Speaking up can also free us from withholding forgiveness as we seek understanding. I am struck by God’s goodness that comes with this quest to speak up to one another!
From my experience, the practical benefits to individuals and groups for speaking up are extensive. As a developer of principled leaders and learning organizations, I see the payoff day in and day out to the individual and to the organization for speaking the truth in love. We are finding that organizational health begins with clarity that instills integrity in the organization. It actually appears that truthful discussion can lead to progressive change. An honest conversation can be the spark that begins real positive movement in the life of an individual, in a group and in an organization. A number of honest conversations can actually build momentum. In the workplace, ministry, family life, and in our communities, I see the positive impact of speaking the truth in love to one another.
Seeking God for how and when we have these conversations is important. We need to move from seeing our anxiety in the short-term to believing in the long lasting benefits God has for us and for the groups we serve. Reminding ourselves that God is present with us and He is ready to lead us is reassuring. The vision is to move from avoiding the conversation to seeing the necessity of having it. The purpose is to honor and glorify God by investing truth into individuals, groups and organizations. The goal is to build us up into safer and healthier individuals and communities of light and life as Paul encourages. In following through, we bring greater truth into our lives and into the lives of our families, communities, workplaces and churches. This is so important to God’s redemptive plan and purposes. Let’s not let our communities blow up; rather let’s build them up by speaking the truth in love to one another!
Question for discussion: How does this blog post impact you? Is there a place where you need to speak up? What will you do next?
Dr. Jeanine Parolini, PhD, MBA, MA