I really can't stand fakeness. Please don't pretend you like me and then walk away and tell someone I'm a jerk. I'd rather you just tell me to my face - really. As a former passive-aggressive person, I can spot that attribute a mile away and it drives me absolutely bonkers. Maybe it's like the person who used to smoke but now the smell of smoke bothers them more than the people who never lit a cigerette.
On the other hand though, I don't like it when people use "truth" as an excuse to be mean and ugly to people either. "Well, I'm just telling you the truth," they will say as they stick the knife in and give it a sadistic little twist.
It seems that we either have truth without love or love with much truth. I'm not sure that is the biblical way of things. Granted, truth sometimes is hard to hear and it stings. Love is not always warm and fuzzy - sometimes, it is tough.
I was reading through I Corinthians and I ran across the thirteenth chapter about love. It's read at a lot of weddings, but really, it is a message to all believers, not just the newly wedded. I've also been reading in Ephesians which talks about how to deal with each other, too.
"Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bone of peace...but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, cause the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love." Ephesians 1-3; 15,16
Obviously, this is not an innate skill because Paul had to explain this to the believers in Ephesians. We are one body and we need to dwell together in unity and peace. The only way to do that is with humility (not thinking too highly of ourselves), by being gentle with each other and by showing patience with each other's weaknesses and foibles. You'll notice I emphasized how all this happens - in love.
But what is love? The definition of it we get from popular culture is actually quite selfish - it's all about what you can do for me. According to the Bible, that really isn't what love is all about. It's certainly not what was modeled by Christ - He gave Himself for us without anything in it for Him, really.
In I Corinthians 13, it states more of what love isn't than what it is.
rejoices with the truth
bears all things
believes all things
hopes all things
endures all things
Love is NOT:
seek its own
take into account wrongs suffered
Love like this never fails. So, the love I speak with the truth needs to line up with this passage. I guess that means I will be keeping my mouth shut a lot more!
"If I speak with tongues of men and angels, but do not have long, I have beome a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned but do not have love, ti profits me nothing." I Cor. 13:1-3