b'SERMONFirst Aid for the Soulwatch online: bocnews.comBy Marjorie B. Lewis, Ph.D., D. Min.M any of you arefamil-iarwiththe workofGary C h a p m a ns languagesof love.Hehas categorized fivedifferentMarjorie B. Lewisapproachesto showingour loveforsome- ing care is reflected all around us.It one.Theyis used to enhance the quality of our include,(l)interactionwithallwithwhichwe Words (2) Giftscome into contact.(3) Acts (4) Time and (5) touch Perhaps it helps to understand what Todays column is based on a scrip- is meant when we use the word speak turewhichinformshisfirstandsoas well as truth.Well here goes.To mostimportantapproachtoshowingspeak is generally defined as uttering love, OUR WORDS.Consider the fol- words or articulating sounds with our lowing scripture. voice. Truth is generally defined as Instead, speaking the truth in love,being in accord with our perception of we will grow to become in every respectfact, reality, fidelity or authenticity.thematurebodyofhimwhoistheBasedonthesedefinitionsofwhat head, that is, Christ. (Ephesians 4:15) itmeanstospeaktruthinlove,we Another way to summarize the com- mayoperationalizethisasverbally mandthroughthisscriptureisthatcommunicating our truth (perceptions, we are most effective when we Speakopinions, or beliefs), in a way that is Truth In Love. unconditionally committed to the wel-The question with which I have beenfare of those who hear them.struggling is what it means to SpeakYet, it is difficult to know what this Truth In Love.Answering this ques- means.The reason I say this is due to tion requires us to consider what thethe fact that so many people are hurt word love means.During a gatheringby the words of well-meaning people. at the Montview Presbyterian ChurchWe say things that we think help and lastweek,wediscussedwhatlovethey only hurt.means.I remember sharing a defini- There are many ways to define speak-tion that was provided me more thaning the truth in love.Here are a few.twenty years ago.Love is the uncon-ditionalcommitmenttothewelfareI have heard the saying, You have of another sentient being.A sentientto pick your times.I have come to being is one who is sensitive and per- understand that saying what is on our ceptive.While I am applying it gener- mind is not always the most important ally to our interaction with one anotherthing.We have to share our truth at as humans, it may cross over to oura time when the person is primed to relationship to everything. hear it.I chose this word in order to empha- There are times when we speak out sizetherealitythattodemonstrateof turn which may include, when the love, it requires the recipient to receiveperson is not in a place emotionally to the demonstration, to respond to thehear it.There are times when we need demonstration.Love or perhaps lov- to hold our tongue until a better time. If we choose not to, then we must ask ourselves, did we speak for the welfare ofthepersontowhomwespoke,or did we speak for our own benefit.The former would be done in love, the latter There are timesnot so much.Therearetimeswhenpeopleare when people aresharing their truth and we are quick to jump in and share our truth because sharing their truththeir truth is negative and self-degrad-ing. We believe that by negating their and we are quick tonegative self-perceptions we are help-ing. Believe it or not, it is more helpful jump in and sharetogivethemthespacetheyneedin order to release (get it off their chest). our truth becauseOtherwise, we may seem insincere or not to care about their perspective.their truth isThere are times when we speak over theheadofourhearers.Weshare negative andContinued on Page 22self-degrading.Marjorie B Lewis can be contacted at:email@example.comBODY OF CHRIST NEWS JANUARY 2020 7'