From John Piper’s article, "Taking TO People Rather Than ABOUT Them"
"Let’s be forthright and honest and courageous
and humble. Jesus was amazingly blunt at times. Love sometimes sounds like
that. He could have easily been accused of callousness or lovelessness. But we
know he was the most loving person who ever lived. So let’s follow him in this
This is what I call being "in through the front door". It is a willingess, a courage to say what needs to be said, even though there is a 99% certainty that it will not be initially well received. Have I been accused of being callous, un-caring, and un-loving because I told someone the truth? Yes. Routinely. But I have also found that those whom God has determined to change, redeem and grow in grace come back for more.
After the initial shock of having someone love them enough to tell the truth wears off, they actually can sense the love that it took to say what was said. They sense a level trust that could exist in a relationship with you that is glaringly absent in relationships with others who only candy-coat them with praise and try to encourage them by white-washing life with blind optimism free from the real issues of the heart.
This type of truth telling must be done with great love, and with a heart towards true Providential timing. Calling up someone and lambasting them with their specks, only accentuates our own logs. But when the opportunity presents itself, then truth needs to be told, even bluntly that the heart and mind can be provoked to the point of self-examination. It is here where growth can really take place.
Let’s throw the "you’re ok, i’m ok" stupidity and insecurity in the garbage where it belongs, and truly love one another with the love of Christ, speaking the truth in love, and developing relationships where we might truly desire to share our sins one with another, so that we might really be healed, rather than merely existing as the broken and discouraged people that we tend to be, walking about, leaving in our wake a trail of crusty paint chips from years of trying to "paint it pretty".