On a football team, there is a kicker and that kicker has one aim — to kick the football perfectly between the two goalposts and to score points that will hopefully bring the team to victory. As believers, our aim should be to speak the truth in love. The two goalposts represent truth and love. The football represents our words. As believers, we need to aim our words directly in the center of the goalposts. Truth without love is information without heart. Love without truth is heart without clarity. Both truth and love must exist together.
When believers communicate the truth lovingly, we become equipped for service. Speaking the truth in love helps us become more like Christ, deepening our spiritual maturity (Ephesians 4:15). Loving, truthful communication also promotes unity in the church, the body of Christ. Speaking truth that can bring people closer together might seem counterintuitive. Often, truth is not popular. It’s not what people want to hear. But the truth spoken in love according to the Word of God, will unite believers as brothers and sisters in Christ. Remember this: truth is God’s perspective on any subject. We need to learn to go to God first, then to communicate truth lovingly to others by following these principles: speaking God’s view of the subject, sharing God’s heart on the subject, and sharing God’s character on the subject. Our words should be consistent with who God is, reflecting His standards, His goals and His righteousness. People should be hearing God through us when they hear from us.
God is so good that He provides benefits or “perks” when we communicate the truth with love. God draws closer to us with each loving word. We get to enjoy a more intimate relationship with God as we speak with His clarity and kindness. We will also begin to see more answers to our prayers as we grow in our sanctification – the process of becoming more like Christ. Finally, our failures can be mitigated by how we have loved and helped people with God’s truth. As we communicate God’s love and truth more, we will experience less of God’s judgment and consequences because our desires and actions will align with what God wants and requires of us. Be expectant of how God will move in your life as you passionately pursue truth.
- When is the last time you told a lie (small, medium, or large)? What was the lie?
- What was the last lie someone told you? How did that affect you?
Let’s Get Personal
- How has your view of truth changed in light of this sermon series? How has what you have learned impacted your relationship with God and relationships with others?
- Has there been a time when someone has spoken biblical truth to you? Was it difficult to hear? How did that experience affect you?
- On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best, how well would you say you communicate the truth in love? How do you think your friends and family would rate your ability? Which aspect is more difficult for you, speaking the truth or speaking with love?
Take the Next Step
- Where are you lacking in showing the love of God to others? Think deeply about this and discuss with your group practical ways that you as individuals and your entire group can show the love of God to others in your church and your community this week. How can you share God’s heart and His truth with people you see every day?
- Has your prayer life changed since the start of this series on truth? How can you pray more regularly and intentionally this week so that you can begin to see more answers to prayer?
- Is there someone you love who needs to hear the truth from you this week? Spend time in prayer asking God for the words to say so that you can show this person God’s love while still speaking the truth. If needed, write down what you plan to say first, and have someone in your group read over it for you.
- Want to dig deeper? Take time to look at the following passages: 1 John 3:16-18; 1 John 4:7-21; Ephesians 4:25-32; 1 Corinthians 13:6; Psalm 141:3; Proverbs 18:21; James 1:26; James 3:2; Matthew 12:34-37; 1 Timothy 6:3.
Renew Your Mind
“But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into him who is the head — Christ.”