The Bear Claw and the Scalpel

There is an art form to criticism. Let me first introduce the version we're most familiar with.
The Bear Claw
This is raging expression of truth. Honesty mixed with fury poured out in "no holds barred" frustration. Sure truth is spoken, but most times the person is so bloodied in the eyes by the delivery they can barely appreciate the point.
Photo by Art Drauglis, Creative Commons
I've been on both ends. Neither is fun. If you're the one who gave into the emotional vomiting you are later stricken with an empty regret similar to the loss of electrolytes. Jesus used spit to heal the blind man's eyes; it never said he vomited on anybody. I read on Twitter today "True grace is what you gave them before they said they were sorry." Many thanks to @PeterWChin "Bear anger truthiness" rises up in all of us. It's what we do with that passion that makes the difference. So let me introduce my new "truth expression" friend...
The Scalpel
The Word of God is likened to a sword - one sharp enough to cut between bone and marrow. While it is important to wield the sword boldly against our spiritual enemy, Satan, we must be wise how we use the truth amongst the our fellow humans and body of Christ. To mix both metaphors, sometimes we humans live with lies that embed themselves within our psyche and need cutting out. Don't you want someone you trust handling the scalpel? Be trustworthy; be kind. Psalm 119:32 says
I will run the course of Your commandments, For You shall enlarge my heart.
Obedience is enabled when God grows our heart for His commandments.
The correct motive for speaking truth is always love. Psalm 119 emphasizes the beauty of God's truth in living rightly. It is excellent read aloud, purifying heart and motives. Better for the soul than a juice cleanse.


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