Scripture ~ “We must no
longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of
doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But
speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the
head, into Christ.
The Spiritual Focus ~ “My goal is to speak the truth in love. There are a lot of people speaking the truth with no love, and there are a lot of people talking about love without much truth.” Shane Claiborne, a Christian activist and author in the New Monasticism movement. He is a social activist, advocating for nonviolence and service to the poor.
The Breath Prayer ~ Inhale ~ I speak truth, Exhale ~ in love
The Devotion ~ Speaking the truth in love may be one of the most difficult spiritual practices. There are several obstacles that we fall prey to when it comes to speaking the truth in love. One is that we are afraid of offending the person we are talking with and our relationship will suffer. Another is that we will speak too quickly or harshly and not communicate the love we feel for the person. Then there is timing: it is important to speak the truth in love when a person is available to hear it. Obstacles notwithstanding, speaking the truth in love is an important part of our journey of life together. As we near the end of our Lenten journey, we will hear stories from scripture that highlight the ways Jesus spoke the truth in love—sometimes in words, sometimes in deeds,— but always in love.
In yoga philosophy, speaking the truth in love begins by listening to our own bodies and knowing our own truth. The fifth chakra, the throat chakra (vishuddi) is about self-expression: your truth, purpose in life, creativity. It is associated with the color blue and the element of sound. Another function of the throat chakra is to connect you to Spirit. When this chakra is balanced, the Spirit guides our decisions and gives us the words to speak the truth in love in any situation.
A well-known technique for this spiritual practice is the THINK acronym. Before you speak, reflect on the following questions:
Is it True?
Is it Helpful?
Does it Improve on silence?
Is it Necessary?
Is it Kind or loving?
When we speak the truth in love, we participate in authentic community, encouraging and building each other up to love and grow in the ways that Jesus taught.