…but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ,…Ephesians 4:15 (NASB)
Hearing something we don’t want to hear is hard enough, but when it’s served with a spoonful of sugar that is unconditional love, the taste isn’t quite so bitter. I should know. I’ve swallowed hard truths more than a few times.
And with that gulp of truth we may also recognize our faults and experience regret, for our words, our actions, our choices. Therein lies the rub; we now have to do something!
One of the things I try very hard to practice is capturing my emotions and actually hearing the words that are being said to me. If I write down those words and look at them rather than react, I learn something. Maybe I learn the way I say something is heard differently that my intent. Maybe I learn something I did caused a consequence that could have been avoided. Maybe I gain a new perspective. Whatever it is, hearing truth spoken in love is a gift from someone who cares and wants better with or for us; accepting it as an opportunity to learn and grow is a choice.
Here’s a mnemonic to process through hearing an unwelcome truth:
T – True. Is it true and accurate? It is for the person confronting you. Try to see their point of view.
R – Ramifications. What are the ramifications? How did/does it impact others and me? Do I need to ask forgiveness? Now?
U – Urgent. Is this something I need to manage right now or can it be considered later?
T – Thanks. Give thanks for and to the person who confronted you. Not an easy task and it comes with risk of loss.
H – Heart. How do I need to change my heart, my perspective, my going forward to align with God’s Word and continue or restore my relationship?
Psalm 51:10 says “Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew in me a steadfast spirit.” I love this prayer as a start to surrendering whatever emotions I’m having to the Holy Spirit to work on the things I need to change in my heart.