The joke is that those of us from the South can use our accent to make a thinly veiled insult still sound sweet, as in “Well bless your heart!”
I entered college as a music major but changed to psychology before the end of my first year. I thought I was a good singer, but my voice teacher told me (sometimes colorfully) that my mechanics were terrible. Intimidated by sight-singing, I recall my music theory class applauding after I finally sang one exercise correctly. I didn’t like the amount of time I needed to spend in practice rooms. Conducting the class was a terrifying experience.
Despite all of this, the deciding factor for me to change majors was a conversation I never had with a professor I never took. The story went around that a professor told a student (add a rich Southern accent straight out of Gone with the Wind here), “You know, you really should think about picking out another major.” I decided I was going to act before I was on the receiving end of a similar conversation.
We can speak the truth, and we can speak in love, but combining those two instructions can be hard. We find the key to doing so in verse 16. When what we say (or text, or post, or email) promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love, we will unlock an experience for which we long (v. 16). We will help build and grow the body of Christ.
When have you found it better to speak the truth in love than to simply speak the truth?
Please help me, Lord, to better consider the effect of my words before I open my mouth. Amen.