I am very adamant about speaking the truth. I have no patience for people who are ignorant--willfully or not. I'm not the smartest kid on the block, but I'm not stupid, either. When people act stupid, unless they have a medical condition for it, there is no excuse and with all my being I want to tell them how it is. Of course, I can't think of any examples right now, and I don't (think I) know any of these people personally, but when the second half of that phrase sunk into my consciousness, I was struck with the realization that while truth is good (obviously!), it doesn't mean anything without love.
Now, I am not a touchy-feely, glitter and rainbows kind of person. Most of the time. I think that putting a layer of love on everything just sugarcoats it and beats around the bush and JUST GIVE IT TO ME STRAIGHT ALREADY! You know what I mean?
But then I realized something. Most people can only see God's love for them by OUR love for them, and if I'm constantly beating them over the head with truth, how can they ever see God's love? I think I actually realized this subconsciously, because I have friends whom I love and I try to show it, even though I think they are making mistakes with their lives.
In explaining this post to my husband, it was here where I thought, Well, if I'm already doing this, what is the point of this post?! I almost just deleted the whole thing, but my husband convinced me to keep it. First, I can come back to this post every now and then to remind myself to keep love in my truth. Second, it can probably help at least one other person in their struggle with this, too. And the third reason is mine alone: it is just SO hard to delete wonderful prose like this that I've written. Hey, I gotta show myself some love, too, right? ;-)
Even though I realize that I do show love, it's not in my nature to do so. That's why I am keeping this phrase for the year. It's not something that I will have tangible proof that I'm doing--showing love--but my prayer is that by making it a habit, it will eventually come more naturally. I don't want my son to grow up thinking that truth (alone) is all that matters.
It is God's truth that keeps us out of Heaven, but it is His love that gives us a way in.