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Friday, February 5, 2010

Truth or Love?

Seems I inadvertently stumbled into a theme this week with the whole loving others / keeping oneself from judging topic. Once I started thinking on this stuff I couldn't shut my brain off.

I've been thinking a lot about the ways in which I bow to religiosity in my own life, and about what a fine line there is between speaking the truth in love and just plain old speaking the truth.

There is a BIG difference, I think.

I can speak the truth with the best of them. There's a famous saying in our family that when I am angry I can state a solid case before a person about why I think they're stupid, why everyone else thinks they're stupid, and why they should think they're stupid too.

That's NOT a compliment to my character. In fact I think that makes me WAAAAAY worse than my finger wagging friends from the worship service. Thankfully, their memory is a reminder to me that I cannot afford to be critical (of myself or others).

What do you think about the difference between speaking the truth and speaking the truth in love? Have you ever been the unhappy recipient of a harsh truth? Did it produce feelings of shame or guilt? I'd love to hear your perspective.

Also, I'm really interested in what you think about shame and guilt, and their affects, either negative or positive, in our lives. Do you think they are productive? Or do you think they are counterproductive?

I'm going to be studying shame and guilt in the Bible. If you've done a particular study on the subject please share the results with me. Your verses/resources/thoughts would be much appreciated.

4 comments:

Jamey... said...

Speaking the truth in love is a HUGE goal of mine. When I'm frustrated or angry I can "speak truth" about a situation with uncanny ability, but it's terrifying how fast that love falls by the wayside and how hurtful and ungracious that is.

That's my biggest beef with "American Idol" because it just elevates "ugly truth" to an artform. That is NOT what I want to be exposed to or an attitude that I want celebrated in my house.

I want to speak the truth in love, I want to teach my children to do that, and I want to promote and support others who are doing the same.

We always need to speak the truth in love. Always. Always.

Now, I just need to start remembering how to do it in the heat of the moment....

ReaganF said...

Interesting question about shame and guilt being productive or not. I think shame and guilt are productive and even necessary when it is our own sin we are confronted with. For example, awhile back I got caught gossoping and felt a lot of remorse/shame when it caught up with me. This was definitely due to my sinful nature and it was good for me to be convicted in this way by the Holy Spirit because I was able to repent.

I think gulit/shame that someone still feels for a sin that they a long time ago asked Jesus to take away is definitely counter productive and unhealthy. We have to be able to forgive ourselves like Jesus forgives us. Easier said than done!

Looking forward to your thoughts on this!!

ReaganF said...

Oh and you should definitely study the whole David/Bathsheba/Nathan drama in 2 Samuel, when studing gulit/shame. Just read that recently in my own bible study. David learned the hard way, but he learned...

beBOLDjen said...

Jamey, I love your heart for grace as a mom. I, like you, am always praying for an increase in that department!!! As far as how to speak love in truth int he heat of th emoment- you let me know what you discover, since I've by no means mastered that one! I was just talking with my sister today about how we tend to be blunt people and need to work on softer delivery methods for those whose brains (or sensibilities) don't operate like ours.

Reagan, Thanks for you thoughts. David came to mind immediately. How Nathan chose to confront David is VERY intruiging to me! I will definitely be posting more after I've done some studying.