Why is speaking the truth to people so difficult? Yesterday I gave a message out of Ephesians on the love of God for us as the basis for our expressing Christ’s love toward others. In an interactive poll given in both Sunday Services I discovered two very interesting facts. Eighty percent of all the people in attendance admitted there is someone in their life they are having trouble loving right now. And eighty percent also acknowledged that the hardest thing for them to do in relationships is speak the truth in love.
Prior to yesterday I had conjectured that the majority of people were struggling with these issues. But I was not prepared for such a high percentage – eight out of ten. That has given me pause.
Prime facie it illuminates the incongruous fact, that relationship conflict is a frequent reality for followers of Christ, who ironically, are called to evidence their discipleship by loving one another. (John 13:35) This reminds me of an insightful little ditty I heard years ago. “Living with the saints above, oh that will be glory. Living with the saints down here, that’s a different story.”
But at a deeper level it reveals an even more startling fact. We saints, who have received the lavish love of God despite our own sinfulness are struggling to show that same love to others. We who should be well equipped for such a task, are having difficulty initiating the loving resolution of our relationship conflicts. And it all appears to hinge on our inability to speak the truth in love.