Speak the Truth

Speak the Truth

The other day I was at a party.  Just hanging out, eating great food, and enjoying the people I was with.  Near the end of the night I was able to catch up with an acquaintance that I rarely see but have grown to appreciate and respect.  We were catching up with each others lives and I realized that he is in a life situation that is similar to mine.  As we were speaking about this situation he said something that immediately spoke to my heart.  I believe it was the Holy Spirit speaking through him to my heart.  I don’t believe he realizes the impact of what he said but it will be one of those things that sticks with me for a long time.  Naturally, for me at least, I tried to analyze the whole situation because I would love to have a positive impact on others. Here is what I have observed.  Maybe it will help you minister more effectively to others.

First of all, he is someone I respect.  He is a man of character and compassion and so I naturally pay attention to what he has to say. Second, he understood and heard me when we spoke of our life’s situation.  He was in a similar situation, but he did not tell me his story.  But we were able to quickly hear each other.  Third, what he shared was a truth that had all ready impacted his heart.  Fourth, he spoke the truth.  While it was a truth that had impacted his life all ready, it was not “his” truth, it was the truth of the Word of God that helped him in his life.

I believe that all of those observations are so very important.  I have had much advice given to me over the course of my life.  If that advice comes to me from someone I cannot have respect for, then it usually does not impact my life.  If we want to minister then we need to be people of godly character.  I also believe this man has compassion for me.  He is a loving man who cares for people.  His words are spoken from a heart that cares.  His compassion makes him a good listener.  He hears what you are saying. He does not hear and then interpret that from his own experience but allows what you are saying to be in its own context.  I hope I wrote that right.  Sometime we speak and people hear what we are saying through their own experience.  I believe he truly heard how my situation effected me and then realized it was the nearly the same as his experience.  Here is what was key, he did not then share with me his experience.  To do so would have made it too much about him.  No two experiences are ever exactly the same.  So what he did was simply share what he had learned.  What truth had helped him.  I was then able to take that truth and apply it my experience.  It was a gift from God.  The Word of God spoken to my heart through another.  It was not clouded by the sharing of both our experiences, sharing notes, and observing similarities and differences...the truth shined brightly because my brother chose to hear me and speak to my heart.  He did not choose, at that time, to unburden his own experience.  Even though it was so similar to mine.  

Too much thinking?  I suppose.  But I hope I learned, from my brother, how to be a better listener who is able to speak truth that impacts lives.  Maybe your time in the Word today did not impact your heart as you would liked.  Maybe God has placed it in your heart to be shared with someone else.  Care enough to listen to others today.  Do not be quick to think about what you need to say to them.  Just hear them.  Then share His truth.  Speak to hearts, not to give advice, but to share life.

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