Monday, February 6, 2017

On Toes & Eggshells & Hen's Teeth . . .



You don't want to step on toes 

but 

you don't want to walk on eggshells

either




So my brilliant sister has been known to say.

How often have we been guilty as charged when it comes to failing to communicate well?

It seems that without a whole lot of thoughtful sensitivity, we're sorely inclined to tromp all over each other another with our self-absorbed personal agendas and our tiresome strident opinions.

Or do the polar opposite.

Apologizing profusely for daring to speak above a whisper, we dance around the subject at hand with mouse-like trepidation, never fully speaking the truth for fear of offending.

There is a better way.

*

Speaking the truth in love.

These five words jump out in Ephesians 4, as Paul writes to his friends in Ephesus.  He's talking about the necessity of cultivating spiritual maturity, pursuing the daunting task of being a unifier.  He's urging humbleness, gentleness, and patience prompted by a sacred love and consideration for each other.

Yes, even {and especially} when there is a compelling need to speak truth that's necessary for others to hear.

*

In this season where kindness, grace, and respect seem to be as rare as hen's teeth, God continues to issue this urgent invitation to claim a more uplifting, productive way of communicating what begs to be spoken.

Not so we feel relieved to get something off our chests.  

But that Christ may be honored by every word that tumbles from our lips, springing forth from hearts fully yielded to Him.






*

visiting with 

51 comments:

  1. Great discernment here, Linda. You're so right about the need to speak - everything - in love.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/02/your-dying-spouse-267-being-fair-to-god.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Perfectly stated, Linda!
    I can't begin to tell you how many posts I've read recently on this very subject, and even posted my own. In every one, the invitation to allow God's love to move through us and in us to reach out to those who think differently than we do has been so powerful. May we love one another as Christ first loved us.
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, Martha. Let's create safe places {online and face-to-face} where grace and kindness abound. And not just be eager to speak truth, but look for opporunities to offer a patient, discerning listening ear.

      Delete
  3. So true Linda. It reminds me too, that I have to place my whole identity in Christ so that I don't attach my own personal agenda to my words and action. And Christ, of course, is love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love. You summed it all up in 4 letters, Lynn.

      The greatest of these is love ...

      Delete
  4. Umm.. When I first read your title, Linda, I thought - Huh? Hens don't have teeth... But what a powerful way you used it - that kindness, grace, and respect seem as rare as hen's teeth. Yes, so true and so very sad. Amen to the desire that "Christ may be honored by every word that tumbles from our lips, springing forth from hearts fully yielded to Him." Thank you for speaking the truth in love. Love and hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Trudy, I too am saddened by the coarsening of the dialogue in this season. May we model a better way ...

      Delete
  5. So many of us are discouraged and dismayed by the current climate of "Let them have it!" Thank you, My Friend for a well written and thought provoking post. AGAIN I say--one of your best!
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The current climate is toxic, for sure.

      We can make a difference. As believers, we have a mandate to do so.

      Thanks for hearing my heart, dear Lulu.

      Delete
  6. This reminds me of the description of Jesus in John's Gospel of being "full of grace and truth." So important to have both and such a difficult balance to find sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, Lesley. That is who we're yearning to be ... 'full of grace and truth.' And this call crosses all political and cultural lines from sea to sea, doesn't it ...

      Grateful you're here, my Scottish sister-in-Christ.

      ;-}

      Delete
  7. Love that, Linda: "that Christ may be honored by every word." Praying our hearts is fully yielded to Him!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, yes, Crystal. May Jesus Christ be praised ...

      What a standard to uphold! Only by His grace.

      Delete
  8. Hmmm. I have done both. walked on toes. Walked on eggshells. Neither is fun nor fulfilling. Finding the way to do it the "truth in love" way is tough but necessary. Well said Linda and thanks for the thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always appreciate the perspective from a wise pastor. Thank you for being here, Bill ...

      Delete
  9. When in doubt, it's best to remain silent. There's a voice ... deep inside ... and we all know whose it is. Listen. We'll know when, how, and why to speak: with love. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen. Sometimes it's best to be still and let God do battle for us {Exodus 14:14!}

      May we have that sacred discernment to know when to speak bold and when to zip it.

      Delete
  10. You're spot on, friend. I find this is so much easier to do when I look in the mirror and remember how much in need of His grace I remain. Blessings on your week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent point, June.

      Oh Lord, how needy we ourselves are.

      Delete
  11. Linda,

    Amen! Great visuals and wisdom in your words,my friend :=)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sitting with us this evening, friend ...

      Delete
  12. Linda, sometimes the shortest posts pack the most power. This is a great example of that. A thousand amens, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are a wordy people, aren't we ...

      Maybe short and sweet's a better way?

      Delete
  13. I can't quite follow the train of thought on this post, but your words are comforting and strangely.. coherent. Haha. Your words are poetry for the soul, my friend. <3 - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, thanks for hanging with me anyway, Gingi!

      ;-}

      Delete
  14. Well said, Linda. May God bless and use the words we write and speak as we wrap each word in His love. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I love that image you've painted, Joanne .. wrapping each word in His love.

      Sublime.

      Delete
  15. Our program director says: Say what you mean, mean what you say but don't say it mean. I'm sure you've not only heard that but mastered it. I seem to be considered to direct, i.e. harsh, so then I do the dance around. So many things for me to learn here. On an aside....when I saw the rooster photo it reminded me of a painting I did. The thumbnail made me think it was the painting! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And this is fabulous, Debby -->'Say what you mean, mean what you say but don't say it mean.'

      You've hit the nail on the head for sure.

      Delete
  16. Yes, every word. And that's even more crucial when we write them down and send them out into the universe . . .
    Thanks, Linda! (Love the polish!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't wait for a springtime pedicure!

      ;-}

      Delete
  17. Perfect for the climate of our world right now. Speaking the truth in love should be our goal but seems to be forgotten often. I pray my focus is right here with you... "Not so we feel relieved to get something off our chests.

    But that Christ may be honored by every word that tumbles from our lips, springing forth from hearts fully yielded to Him."

    Thank you for this reminder today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too often we spout off just so we can let off some steam.

      That can be dangerous, can't it ...

      Delete
  18. Hi Linda! I like that quote from your sister. It's hard to walk that line, isn't it? It's very difficult to tell someone something that is hard truth, but learning how to speak with love really helps. The tough talks that I remember were ones that were given with superiority or sneering. I don't seem to remember the corrections with love as much. I think it's because they are so much better received.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's a smart one! I've learned to listen when she speaks about important stuff.

      And yes, Ceil, I hear you about tone, attitude. That's a conversation killer, a trust breaker, isn't it ...

      Delete
  19. So very true. I am more prone towards the eggshells than stepping on toes. Many times, I need to be better at speaking the truth in love!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear ya', Christa! Most of us can use some improvement in one way or the other.

      Delete
  20. Yes. Speaking the truth in love is always the way ...but oh, can it be hard. Especially, with the people we are most comfortable with.
    Happy Thursday, from the Chasing Community linkup!
    Megs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why's it sometimes so hard to speak what's most true about us to those closest to us?

      {mmm ...}

      Delete
  21. And, Paul was masterful at being blunt, wasn't He? :) But, just as you've shared...for God's glory and honor. Paul is one of my favorites. Humility, gentleness and patience go a long way in conversation, don't they? Beautiful reminder, Linda. Thank you, friend. :) And, thanks for sharing with #ChasingCommunity! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for opening your doors wide to us on Thursdays, Brenda!

      Delete
  22. Yes, our motives matter! "Not so we feel relieved to get something off our chests. But that Christ may be honored by every word that tumbles from our lips." Thanks for always keeping us straight, Linda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just sharin' what I'm learning along the way. I'm guessing that urge to spout off is something we're all learning to avoid.

      Thanks for finishing up the week here with us, Lisa ...

      Delete
  23. Oh Linda! I needed this today, friend. I had a hard conversation with someone last week and have been hitting myself over the head. Although I think I needed to speak up, it was hard. Your words here encourage me. I think I spoke the truth in love? Tried to?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Betsy ~ Sometimes 'hard' is an understatement, isn't it. Those moments can be excruciating ... and even life changing.

      Praying for you right now as you continue to process and release those words to the Lord, friend. He is able.

      Delete
  24. I heard this quote once and wrote it down "Truth without love is brutality and love without truth is hypocrisy" by Warren Wiersbe. How true your words are. A gentle reminder that we don't have to be a doormat, neither do we need to be a loud shrill horn, but we can speak truth in love in a way that is kind. Hugs to you today.. .oh I have to admit I had to chuckle at your reference to hen's teeth, lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Warren packs a punch with that one, doesn't he, friend.

      And God help us from being one of those loud shrill horns you talk about!

      Delete

'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda