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Thursday, October 8, 2015

When Love Communicates the Truth of Grief

“For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.”
— 2 Corinthians 2:4 (NIV)
BRAVE Christian souls weather storms of relational challenge and uncertainty. They take most seriously that Christian charge: “death is at work in us, so life is at work in you” (2 Corinthians 4:12). Brave Christian souls know that conflict is not about them at all, nor the person they’re in conflict with; it’s about the broader good.
Many who may call themselves Christian may struggle with the idea of reconciliation when it seems easier to remain hurt — well, of course, that’s pride speaking.
Genuine Christian persons tackle matters of relational discord for the broader good. They don’t let the devil get a foothold at all (Ephesians 4:27). They’re more than prepared to fight for reconciliation, when, much of the time, the fight is about letting go of their own pride, and any other barrier in the way of restoring the relationship.
When love wishes to communicate it seeks court to communicate the truth of grief.
This sort of love hallows honesty and is empowered because of its courage.
Love cavorts with truth in the same way that God blesses the truth of matters impartially. So love communicates the truth of grief boldly yet sensitively — the truth with much grace. The message must be understood, so graciousness is crucial to a message’s reception and understanding. But graciousness is not love if it fails to represent the truth. Neither grace nor truth fall short of the best. They are two forms of the very best.
Matters of truth are lovingly communicated when graciousness guides matters.
If one party to a relationship grieves certain matters, that party ought to communicate the truth in a gracious way. What may be understood as setting up a stumbling block for persons is not what this is about. Love genuinely wishes that understanding would transcend the need of, and the perception of, stumbling blocks. When love and truth merge, understanding is fused in the minds of both giver and receiver. Grief is them able to be conveyed in a way that helps them both through. See how a stumbling block is a falling short of either or both, truth and love?
***
Love is honest and courageous, and through truth it necessarily communicates grief.
Love shrinks at nothing to want the best for all. It knows that truth is the best, but not just any old truth; a grace-imbued truth.
Truth is the power behind the best relationships, as a relationship’s best breathes power for truth.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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