You will recognise these words from the beginning of the Hippocratic Oath, which is taken by student doctors around the world, and ingrained into their minds even before they touch a patient. The reason is clear. If you can’t make the patient any better, then at least don’t do them any harm. Oh that as believers we would take the lesson to heart.
Some Christians are so used to ‘speaking the truth in love’ that they cannot, or will not, hold their tongue when they should. After all, the argument goes, it’s in the Bible, so it must be right. I would suggest that when the truth is really spoken in love, only good will be done. After all, God does not, and will not, do harm to His own witness. He may convince and convict of the sin in our lives through the Holy Spirit, but He can do that without our feeble attempts to speak for Him in a misguided ‘in love’ pretence.
Sadly, I have come across very few Christians who are loving or lovely, when they speak their version of the truth ‘in love’.