"One thought to consider. If we allow scripture to interpret scripture, I think many of us will realize realize how much we fall short of the "in love" part of "speak the truth in love". You know what Paul says love is?
Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)
Translation? (and again this isn't Sammy's opinion, this is bible interpreting bible) In other to "speak the truth in love". You must speak the truth with patience and kindness. Without envy. No need to boast. No pride. Don't be rude or self seeking. Don't be easily angered. etc etc. You get the point."
Wow, powerful words! Recently I claimed to speak the truth in love to someone and while I might have been speaking the truth, I realized I definitely didn't speak it in love. This lead me to the realization that I'm not sure that I can ever speak the truth in love to someone because I can't love perfectly. I've always read the Corinthians love passage is by inserting "Christ" instead of "love". He is love, perfect love, and even if I have most of the categories down when I "love" someone, I know I never fit into all of them. I don't know what this means about future interactions with people and I'm definitely going to have to do some soul searching, but I am extremely thankful for this spiritual challenge to what I originally thought "speak the truth in love" meant and I hope it is for you as well.