"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance"--I Corinthians 13:4-7(NLT)
Have you heard the expression, "Speak the truth in love"? Have you heard it in its complete context as referenced in Ephesians 4:15? Most of us focus on the beginning of this verse and omit the words that follow. We use the "speak the truth in love" segment to give us license to blow of steam, get something off our chest, or to give someone who is on our very last nerve a "piece of our mind". Yet, the purpose of speaking the truth IN LOVE is to facilitate growth, maturity, and movement so that we, and the person to whom we are speaking can become more and more like Christ. Speaking the truth in love is never to bruise, wound, shame, or condemn. Love is patient, kind, and enduring. It is not irritable or vindictive.
When we make a decision to speak the truth in love, we have made a decision to partner with God and his Word in cultivating healthy, whole, meaningful relationships.