Love-speak

Speaking in Love: What is that exactly?

About 20 years ago, I heard a man say to his brother, “F*** you! And I mean that in love!”  It struck me at the time that his definition of love might be an unusual one. Other people almost hide the truth so that they are speaking in love; is that really love?

Paul made an interesting comment:

f I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

1 Corinthians 13:1

 Love is clearly a big deal for the Christian because Jesus has commanded that we love one another. (John 13:34).  In the next chapter, Jesus tells His disciples that if they love Him they must obey His commands. (14:15); therefore since He commanded that we love one another, and if we love Him we must obey, we must love one another if we love Jesus.  If we don’t love one another then we don’t love Jesus:  Tough spot!

Love in the Biblical sense is not an emotion; it has nothing to do with romance.  It is a commitment to put others ahead of ourselves in service to God.  If we love God and we are His servants, then we must put others ahead of ourselves: this is what godly love looks like!

As love relates to speech, it looks like someone who will tell the truth, never speak rashly or in anger, and someone who always speaks in a manner that is uplifting, empowering and in truth.  If our brother has fallen into sin, then love requires that we speak to that brother in a manner that helps him to see his error and that brings him back to God.  Of course this is done not as a rebuke, but as an encouragement.  Speech that is not in love is just noise; speech that is in love is a life-giving thing.

Funny isn’t it… Biblical love always seems to come back to self.  Serving God and serving self just don’t go together very well.

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About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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11 Responses to Love-speak

  1. Kitsy says:

    “love requires that we speak to that brother in a manner that helps him to see his error and that brings him back to God. Of course this is done not as a rebuke, but as an encouragement”

    It takes about 800% more energy to point out error in an encouraging way…but Jesus never said folliwingvHim would be easy. As someone once said, “Why would you expect life to be easy for a Christian? Look what happened to their leader.”

  2. Pingback: Love-speak | A disciple's study

  3. daylerogers says:

    Beautifully said! Commitment is really what it’s all about. And that rarely has much to do with emotion. Thanks for this timely reminder.

  4. Matt Brumage says:

    ‘If our brother has fallen into sin, then love requires that we speak to that brother in a manner that helps him to see his error and that brings him back to God. Of course this is done not as a rebuke, but as an encouragement.’

    I think addressing someone fallen into sin needs both encouragement and rebuke. Rebuke really means to correct. Sure it’s not comfortable, but why do we think God wants someone comfortable in sin? Jesus didn’t seem to address those opposed to Him in a manner that made them comfortable, and He always addressed people in love. Love is about the other person, not about how that other person thinks of me, how much they like me, how much they listen to me, or how much they respect me. If love isn’t about them, then it’s neither love, nor effective.

    Some of the most uncomfortable words for me in Scripture are in 1 Corinthians 13. Paul seems to have this design and understanding of love that makes him a “door mat” or something. And yet for Jesus, love is empowering and fulfilling. How can it be both? How can turning the other cheek be empowering rather than demeaning? How can a life that ends on a cross, naked and dying, be the path of power? And yet even in the midst of His pain, Jesus forgives the religious leaders who worked so hard to put Him there. He did so publicly. He did so in the hearing of another man on the cross, who then responded in faith. It was a rebuke, even as they stood in condemnation of Him. It was a rebuke to lovingly draw them to their Creator and Savior, even as He saved them through His own death, and eventually, His resurrection.

    At times, I need a loving rebuke. It’s not what I want, it’s what I need. Those who provide it, love me. I need more of those people, but I also need to be one of those people for others.

  5. Love your closing comment.. There are so many sneaking ways we can, to our surprise, find we are putting self first.
    Cheers, Susan

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