Strong Words Spoken Softly

Sometimes loving someone means speaking hard truths.


The unsafe conversation that may cost your friendship.

I’m a good person.  Surely that’s enough for God?

The warning you don’t want to hear.

We need to talk about X. We can’t keep acting like nothing’s wrong.

The challenge you’d rather ignore.

I’m worried about your drinking. 

Are things ok at home?


Hard words these. And it’s tempting to go in one of two ways;


1. Run from them. Retreat into the safety of silence.

If I say this, they’ll think I’m judging them.  I’ll scare them off.  It’ll mean rejection or a messy conversation I don’t think I can cope with. Best to just pray and hope they see there’s a problem.


2.Brandish them like weapons.

‘Straight-Talk’. Words delivered like bullets: no soft-pedalling or beating round the bush.

‘Brother. Here’s the issue in your life. You need to repent.’

Tell it like it is. You’ve done your Christian duty. Now walk away.


It’s loving to say the hard stuff. It’s hard to say it lovingly.

But we need to do both.

To challenge – and to stay.


The harder the word, the gentler and more compassionate we need to be.

We speak to those who struggle – as those who struggle ourselves and who also need to listen.








2 thoughts on “Strong Words Spoken Softly

  1. I came across your “Strong Words Spoken Softly” quite by accident. However it struck me like lightening because I just recently lost a childhood friend because I spoke out to him about his personal honesty in dealing with a situation that I was involved with.
    I have agonized over this decision to speak out to him because as lovingly as I hoped I had addressed the problem, I still lost him as a friend.
    I mourn over this but found comfort by reading what you had to say. What amazed me also was the date you posted this –August 22nd –was the exact date that I first renewed ties with him in 2010.
    Although I didn’t handle the situation with my friend perfectly, maybe I did still act as God had wanted me to.
    Until now I have felt alone in this. Thank you.

  2. It’s amazing how God can encourage us. Well done for saying those hard words Melissa – and thank you for sharing.

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