I have a confession to make.
I tend to judge people’s hearts.
I did it again just several hours ago.
Here is the issue I’ve discovered: there’s a difference between being a truth teller and someone who judges other’s hearts.
We are absolutely called to speak the truth in love into someone’s life. Speaking the truth in love is about communicating things that God has laid on your heart that he wants to convict in others from a position of relationship. However, we can only do this IF we are connected to the heart of God while being connected to the heart of the person with whom we are in relationship.
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”1 Samuel 16:7 (New Living Translation)
Based on the world around him, Samuel had an idea of what a king looked like. He knew Saul. Even though Samuel understood that Saul’s flaws were his downfall, he still fell into the trap of looking to the world around him when God asked him to go anoint a new king. God reminded Samuel where truth is found.
Paul reminds us again in Romans 8 that God searches our hearts.
Only God sees the heart. That’s why we have to lean into God for eyes that see, ears that hear and hearts that understand. I don’t see everything. I don’t hear everything. I don’t understand everything. I don’t know everything – But, God does. Through the Spirit, we can get clarity on what God sees in others. The Spirit will help us experience empathy for other’s circumstances. Empathy isn’t about condoning other’s bad behavior. Empathy is about experiencing a small dose of the position from which someone is standing in life, while also feeling the burden of the potential and position God sees is possible in that person’s life.
I have to remind myself of this – guilt and shame drags someone down to the ditch, but conviction calls someone up to experience the love, grace and healing that God has for each of us. Is my purpose in speaking truth for someone to fall in the ditch or to see that person experience God’s complete healing?
Food for thought today.
What have you experienced while speaking the truth or having truth spoken over you?