Are You a Truth-Speaker?
By: Lindsay Tedder
Therefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another. - Ephesians 4:25 CSB
Years ago, while in a particularly challenging season in my life and marriage, there was one person who I intentionally avoided. Now, she lived out of state, so that wasn’t too difficult a task to accomplish. It had been quite some time since I had taken one of her calls. I knew she would know my secrets without me sharing them. I knew she would tell me my behavior needed correcting.
I knew she was right.
My avoidance ended when she called my office. Yep. In the days of text messages, snaps, DMs, and FaceTime, she looked up my office phone number and called me at work. I was forced to accept her call that day. I didn’t have a choice but to fess up to my behavior and listen to her wise words. I knew she was right and as much as I didn’t want to take the call that day, I’m glad I did.
My husband and I were heading down a path that the enemy would have loved to see come to fruition. We were slowly starting to separate. Up until that season in our marriage, we had lived a very pleasant life together. However, we weren’t speaking truth to each other. We were placating, enabling, and concealing. When Mrs. Jones called me that day and spoke truth over me, it allowed me to speak truth in my marriage. Her truth allowed for mine to be spoken. Her truth allowed for my husband to speak his truth.
We stopped placating each other and started speaking the truth, in love. To this day, we say the hard stuff. We aren’t afraid to speak honestly in love because we have seen how scary it can be to be dishonest. We almost destroyed our marriage because we were too afraid to be honest with each other. There is a huge difference between arguing and being lovingly honest. Now, sometimes it may sound the same, even if briefly, but there is a huge difference.
Honestly heals and arguing annihilates.
God put Mrs. Jones directly in my face when I needed her the most but didn’t want to admit it. I am ever grateful for her wisdom in those moments. She didn’t judge. She simply told me I was wrong, and I knew she was right. That moment set me up to be a truth speaker in the lives of those around me.
Speaking the truth is hard. Saying the things that no one wants to say sucks, really. However, a true friend can point out the behavior that needs correcting, with love. When my friend spoke truth over me from a place of love, I was able to look in the mirror and see the authenticity behind my actions and make the much-needed corrections.
As I have grown in my own wisdom, I can see Christ calls us to all be truth speakers. The verse above tells us to stop lying and speak the truth to everyone. The key for me in this verse is the end… ”because we are members of one another.” This, to me, indicates that since we are all members of one body, the church, we must be honest with each other. When we are honest, we are helping the body of Christ grow and mature. We each gain wisdom every time we speak or receive the truth.
I think about Jesus’ life on earth frequently. I try to imagine what He must have been like, fully man but also fully God. In Scripture, His words often seem so blunt. However, when I view them through the lens of the verse above, I begin to see He can be nothing but honest and honesty often can feel like a slap in the face. Jesus never placated anyone. He always spoke honestly and shared His wisdom freely. He spoke the truth in order to allow us room to grow.
That day my office phone rang and my co-worker said, “it’s for you, someone named Mrs. Jones?” I knew right away, my friend had found me out, despite my best efforts to avoid her truth-filled wisdom. She was blunt. She was honest. And her words allowed me to change the trajectory of my marriage.
Are you avoiding the truth today? Do you need Mrs. Jones to come speak honesty into your life? I encourage you to speak honestly to those around you and allow them to speak honesty into your life. We are one body, one church, with one mission. Honesty = love.
Lindsay Tedder is a believer, wife, mom, bestie and writer who lives in Columbus, Ohio with her bearded, bourbon-loving husband and her too-cool-for-school toddler. She is full of raw honesty, enthusiastic authenticity, amiable compassion, humble grit, powerful passion…and outrageous laughter, double chins, real life, and frothy nectar-of-the-gods coffee…because…coffee. Raised by a hardworking single mom, she overcame such trauma as sexual abuse induced food addiction, the debilitating health issues associated with endometriosis, a decade of infertility, and recurring life themes of worthlessness. Connect with her at www.LindsayTedder.com.
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Originally published Monday, 02 May 2022.