There is truth as in not telling a lie and there is truth as distinct from opinion. There is also individual truth-our truth as we sense it and there are also universal truths some of which may be still to be discovered. Our individual truths are our spiritual truths not our opinions. Who we truly are and our personal spiritual journey are our truths. When we communicate our truths to others, we are allowing ourselves to be transparent and vulnerable for a greater good. We are speaking in humility, in love and in purpose. We are speaking courageously. John 4:24 says, ‘God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.’ When we have spiritual goals and are on a spiritual journey with God, we find ourselves being taught exciting new ways of looking at life which we want to share with people. When we have begun to practice peacefulness in communication and reach out in pure love to many, we find ourselves beginning to speak the truth we are learning to others without fear and in peace. Suddenly, other people’s opinions of our spirituality are no longer a worry. Hopefully, we are also speaking with a humbleness that will show itself in our language and attitude. In Zechariah 8:16 it says:’….speak the truth to one another.’ What is the truth which we should be sharing? I believe there are several types of truths which we may convey to others and that these truths are for the spiritual development or for some great good to people. There is also a time to be silent even if you know something that is not true is being said. If you are journeying with God it is important that you keep your spiritual senses tuned so you know when it is a time to speak and when it is a time to be silent. Examples of truth which we may need to share are:
- Telling someone they do or do not have the talent for something
- Telling someone about an experience you have had which relates to something they are going through which may help them
- Sharing about God’s love and what He is doing in your life
- Challenging or stating a wrong that is being done which must stop
- Admonishing someone (in love) for their own correction and edification
- Confession (when it is necessary for you to confess to someone)
- Advising (when someone has asked or when it is right to give advice)
Communicating in truth should be done in wisdom. We must be careful not to have an attachment to feeling we are right or convincing others we are right. It is important to recognize the difference between our opinions or feelings and that which is truth. When we fearlessly speak our truth, we speak in love. When we have the wisdom to remain silent, we remain silent also in love. Martin Luther said, “Peace if possible. Truth at all costs.”
Sometimes speaking the truth takes boldness as well as wisdom. If you see someone being unkind to another or an act of abuse being silent is usually not the answer then. Speaking boldly but in love and non-judgementally may help people take a good look at themselves and stop their behaviour.
I honestly feel that when we are speaking to someone about our relationship with God and our spiritual journey that we shouldn’t assume that the person we are speaking to is not on a journey of their own even if they are a self-proclaimed atheist. We must give them the same courtesy that we wish them to give us and listen to them when they speak. In love, we do not judge them or tell them they have something wrong. In fact…go the other extreme and be open to what they may teach us. Our humbleness and openness will probably gain their respect and trust.