Speaking The Truth in Love

Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.


In the Quaker tradition, speaking one’s mind is deeply rooted in the belief of recognising the Light of God within each person. To lie, to dodge unpleasant conversations, to dance around the truth is disrespectful to the Light of God we all possess.

But if we have empathy for others, if we have a leaning towards compassion, we inevitably ask ourselves: Is it always appropriate to speak our mind? Is it always the right time, the right moment, the right place? Is it wise, is it Quakerly, to speak our unfiltered truth?

Just because it’s true doesn’t mean it’s appropriate or Quakerly to say it, especially when someone else’s feelings are to be taken into account. We must balance speaking our mind with our leaning towards kindness.

Yet, there are times when speaking truth is required. Sometimes the principle of necessity outweighs the principle of kindness. Sometimes speaking for the greater good is more necessary than honouring kindness, even if the result will be alienating someone.

To do our work and to do so without people shutting down, it’s important to speak truth with love. It’s important to lead with God’s grace and love. It’s challenging to do so, but we should strive to speak truth in a way that opens people’s hearts.

Query: How are my words centred on the Quaker values of love and honesty?


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