The Rest of the Story - Speak Truth in Love

The Rest of the Story - Speak Truth in Love

Author: Rev. Nikki Passante
May 19, 2020

“The Rest of the Story”

How do we learn to speak truth in a world that doesn’t recognize it?

One of the most important facets to speaking truth is to do it in love.  Ephesians 4:15 says ‘But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,’
There is an entire book on this subject, written by Ruth Koch and Kenneth C. Haugk entitled, “Speaking the Truth in Love: How To Be an Assertive Christian.”  This material comes from Stephen Ministries in St. Louis, and I have taught this material on numerous occasions to individuals who want to improve their relationships with others, with God, and yes – with themselves.

Jesus tells us that the greatest commandment is to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.  The problem, as was pointed out to me many years ago by a former congregation member, is that most people don’t know how to love themselves.  This is not selfish, this is necessary.    As I shared in Sunday’s sermon “Spirit of Truth” most of what people encounter on a daily basis is the machinery of our personality – not the core of who we are.  When we learn clear-cut, straightforward ways to have our own needs met and to speak up when it is appropriate to do so (loving yourself), this allows you to give up some of the old manipulative, indirect, calculating methods you might sometimes have used to get your way (machinery=not loving to other people).  Jesus himself provides an excellent example as he made choices and dealt with individuals in a way that didn’t compromise his purpose and ministry, his goals and personal needs.  At the same time, he sacrificially focused on the ultimate good of others.  To begin to balance these two, is a sound way to ‘clean your side of the street.’  A great place to start to learn to love yourself is to know that you are created in God’s image, and each person has some basic human rights (some of these may seem shocking)!! :

 • Each person has the right to be treated respectfully.
 • Each person has the right to say no without explanation and without guilt.
 • Each person has the right to slow down and take time to think.
 • Each person has the right to change his or her mind.
 • Each person has the right to ask for what he or she wants.
 • Each person has the right to ask for more information.
 • Each person has the right to make mistakes.
 • Each person has the right to make choices and accept the consequences of those choices.
 • Each person has the right to own and express his or her own feelings.
 • Each person has the right to ask for help.
 • Each person has the right to maintain a separate self that is accountable to God and independent of the expectations, the approval, or influence of others.

Which of these do you regularly do or ask for?  Which seem impossible?  Are there any that don’t make sense? 

If you would like more information about Stephen Ministry, or would like to talk more about ‘Speaking the Truth in Love,” please reach out at any time.




First Presbyterian Church


20 King's Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ 08033
(856) 429-1960