If a frog is put into boiling water, it jumps out and escapes. However, if a frog is placed in cold water and the temperature is steadily raised it can’t escape.
At a recent brain seminar, the professor related this thought to us to drive his point home. Although not quite what he was talking about, it got me thinking of something! It goes to show how we approach a situation is important. Often we see an issue with or a blind spot in another and try to change them. (Yes, this can be considered a sequel to my previous blog “Change One Another”!)
In the attempt to do so, we often throw a frog in the boiling water. Naturally, it would want to escape. On the other hand, when we place it in cool water and raise the temperature, the frog stays put. Our words, our tone of voice, our body language, our attitude, the amount of love all play a part when we approach someone to speak the truth in love. We won’t make the other person feel cornered. If speaking the truth comes along with condemnation then that’s not out of love.
As far as I’m concerned,
The finger that can’t be lifted in a time of need for someone has no right to point at the very person ‘neglected’ by you.
Speaking the “truth” during heated arguments or at times of feeling low actually reflect wrong motives. Such motives could be indicators of transference of blame. Sometimes we perceive ‘truth’ about the other whereby they are actually reflections of ourselves… we “see” through eyes that have planks and thus perceive the specks in the other person’s eyes as planks too. Instead of dealing with our own negative emotions or feelings of guilt, we tend to retort ‘truth’ about the other person so that we don’t feel ‘small’. We may say it’s with love, but it isn’t… It’s often retaliation because our pride has been hurt.
We can’t change anyone – but we can tell them what we see / observe. By all means, our assumption or observation can be judging even if meant well. Even we don’t know our own hearts but God does. There are times when we don’t accept what is being said as judgmental while all along it could be a word of discernment or prophesy from God through the person. Having said that, all “words” have to be tested as after all when a word comes through a human there are chances that they are filtered or modified in the process.
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God,
because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.
This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.
We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. – 1 John 4:1-6
If we acknowledge Jesus is from God, then we declare that He is “THE” way, “THE” truth and “THE” life. No one goes to the Father but through Jesus (John 14:6). A tongue that does not confess this utters words from a spirit that is not from God.
Our work is to give God’s Word… and to speak the truth in love – which entails speaking at the right time in the right place with the right attitude. Yet the change in the other person cannot happen unless that person makes a decision to do so. Acknowledging the ‘wrong’ or the shortcoming is the first step – actually, no the second! A heart that is yielded to God’s moulding is the first step… A land needs to be ploughed before seeds can be sown and for the seeds to take root and grow into a plant.
God doesn’t look at lips that proclaim praise and worship of Him. He goes to the heart. A heart that is yielded to God will repent when stumbles happen. A heart that is rooted in God won’t feel condemned but rather trust God to see its struggles and to strengthen it. Likewise, a heart that has tasted God’s grace won’t condemn and isolate another while standing up for truth. It will seek peace in all situations and not repay evil with evil. A heart that is yielded to God will not cause division nor strife.
- Where is your heart today?
- Is your tongue in sync with your heart or are they far apart?
- Is your speaking the truth building the other up or is it tearing them down? If you are tearing down someone’s life, then you need to seek God for discernment as the motive Is definitely not love.
- Are someone else’s words of speaking the truth – just between the two of you – making you feel condemned? Ask God whether that is caused by the words of the other or is it self condemnation or is it something that the Holy Spirit is convicting you of?