Speaking the truth with tenderness

Spurgeon once again : “When you preach, speak out straight, but be very tender about it; and if there is an unpleasant thing to be said, take care that you put it in the kindest possible form. Some of our brethren had a message to deliver to a certain Christian brother, and when they went to him they put it so awkwardly that he was grievously offended. When I spoke to him about the same matter, he said, ‘I would not have minded your speaking to me; you have a way of putting an unpleasant truth so that a man cannot be offended with you however much he may dislike the message you bring to him.’ ‘Well, but,’ I said, ‘I put the matter just as strongly as the other brethren did.’ ‘Yes, you did,’ he replied, ‘but they said it in such a nasty kind of a way that I would not stand it. Why, sir, I had rather be blown up by you than praised by those other people!’ There is a way of doing such things so that the person reproved feels positively grateful to you. One may kick a man downstairs in such a fashion that he will rather like it; while another may open a door in such an offensive way that you do not want to go through till he is out of the way. Now, if I have to tell anyone certain unpalatable truths which it is necessary that he should know if his soul is to be saved, it is a stern necessity for me to be faithful to him; yet I will try so to deliver my message that he shall not be offended at it. ”

I know that there have been many times when I have not spoken in a gracious manner as described here. MAy God help me to trully learn how to speak the truth in love, and not just when I am preaching but at all times. Please pray for me for much grace to season my conversations, my preaching and my blogging.

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