Sunday, 30 May 2010

Can you handle the truth?

"You can't handle the truth!" is a famous line in the movie A Few Good Men is spoken by Jack Nicholson's character in response to being told " I want the truth"

I doubt if anybody being likes being lied to so I would guess that we all like being told the truth. At the same time "the truth hurts" is a well known saying. It's easy to say that I want the truth but what if the truth is not exactly what you want to hear but is what you need to hear?

Recently I read this somewhere " A communication consultant says many people fear that honesty will cost them friendships, love, or respect. So they will either keep their lips zipped or say something other than what they mean. Lack of self-worth and fear of hurting someone's feelings also impede honest communication." How true that is especially when we know the truth has the possibility of hurting the other person's feelings.

However once in a while we( me included) all need a little kick to bring us back to our senses since it's so easy to see others' faults yet overlook our own- see the mote in your brother's eye in other words. So the challenge is how to speak the truth in a loving manner that will bring goodwill and build each other like in one of my earlier articles- Irons sharpens iron. For instance what do you say to your friend who you know is being unfaithful to his or her partner or perhaps one of your friends who you're hanging out with is developing a drinking problem. Or maybe if your close friend or partner has done something that hurt you. It may be tough to speak uncomfortable words but sometimes it may be necessary for we are told in proverbs 27:5 it is written "Open rebuke is better than secret love".

So how exactly do we "speak the truth in love" as we are told in Ephesians 4:15? Honesty may hurt, but if we speak kindly and compassion we may give the support that somebody needs to face reality. It's obvious that we need great wisdom from above! we can get some of that divine wisdom which helps us speak effectively from the book of James 3:17 "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere."

Naturally criticism is easy to give but hard to receive. It's all too easy to give somebody a piece of your mind but not quite so when the shoe is on the other foot now is it? One of the hardest things to cultivate is humility to listen first and that is something that I personally have to learn so I ask once again " Can you handle the truth?"

Be blessed

Heavily borrowed from Matt De Haan's word's in the "Daily bread" for May 22nd