How to Speak the Truth in Love

Have you ever said something you wish you could take back? Perhaps you’re the type who stays quiet as long as you can, but when the lid blows off the pressure cooker, you spew everything that’s been on your mind.


Ephesians 4:15 pleads with us: “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.“


I have found that there are two extremes that people take in communication. Some have no issue in telling you like it is and others are sweet and sappy all in the name of love.


So, what does it mean to speak the truth in love?


I think we can all agree that Christ is the epitome of love. No, He IS love. So when we have to speak the truth, we need to do so in a Christ-like manner.


But what does that look like? I propose that instead of choosing between two equally unbiblical responses, we choose to an appropriate response to what’s been done, just as Jesus did.


To do this, let’s look at 3 intense, real-life emotions that Jesus expressed, to see how He did it without sinning.




When someone tells me that sarcasm strikes a tone that isn’t Christ-like, I have to be honest. I wonder what bible they’re reading.

There are several cases where Jesus expressed his disgust with cutting sarcasm. The difference is, he was judicious with to whom he did it.

Jesus wasn’t sarcastic to everyone. And his sarcasm was never mean-spirited or mocking. Rather it was an intentional strategy.




You think you’re the only one who gets frustrated?

I can’t imagine the impatience that Jesus had to resist when he walked this earth. And he wasn’t always meek and mild in his responses.


In Matthew 17, when a man brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus, claiming Jesus’ disciples couldn’t cast out the demon, Jesus’ harsh words were evidence of his growing frustration with people who had seen all the signs and should’ve known better than to doubt who He was: 

And he said this: “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment” (verses 14-20).


Frustration often gets the better of us when things don’t go the way we expected–when traffic holds us up or when your spouse seems intentionally ignorant.

We can be like Jesus and not let frustration get the better of us while at the same time not enabling poor behavior.




Think all anger is bad?

Instead of being angry with sinners and how they lived, Jesus was indignant toward the so-called “religious” who touted a spotless image on the outside, but cultivated critical, hardened hearts on the inside. Jesus used harsh words toward the religious elite of his day saying things like, “You snakes! You brood of vipers!”(Matthew 23:33) Wow! Who knew that name calling was Christ like?


Jesus wasn’t completely opposed to violence, either. How about the time when He was furious with the money changers in the temple? ( John 2:13-17)


The bible doesn’t say that God isn’t angry, it says that he is slow to anger.

Not all anger is bad. The reason for your anger can be a prompting to change something that desperately needs changing.


You would do well to evaluate what you’re angry about. Evaluate the reason and respond accordingly and you too will be acting in a Christ-like manner.


These are just a few of the intense emotions that we have in common with Jesus.

To speak the truth in love means that we never use our intense emotions to cause intentional harm to others, but it also doesn’t mean that we allow inappropriate, ungodly behavior to continue.

Are you ready to grow in your faith?  Join us for a FREE 5 Day Mountain Moving Faith Devotional. You can grab it here.

Watch, Listen & Subscribe

More goodies for you!

Toxic People Survival Guide

As you become more confident in setting boundaries with difficult people, you will begin to see your life filled with more peace, regardless of the situations or people that you encounter.
It’s like a cheat sheet to detoxify your life!

Biblical Boundaries

In the Biblical Boundaries with Toxic Family Course, Kris’ will teach you the why and the HOW and equip you with everything you need to set appropriate, lasting biblical boundaries with toxic family.

Toxic Thought Assessment

Your thoughts impact so much of your life – learn how toxic your thoughts are and how you can overcome the toxic thoughts holding you back from living the life God most wants for you. Take this assessment to determine how toxic your thoughts are and begin on your journey to renewal.