Have you ever heard the phrase ‘telling the truth with love’? It confused me for awhile until an episode of Hoarders. I can’t think of an odder place to get an insight.
The home was messy. Their things piled up like small mountains. Concerned, their immediate family told them some things they didn’t want to hear. There were consequences for ignoring them as well.
They refused to say nothing and do nothing.
That’s the issue, isn’t it? In our individualistic, live and let live culture, we’ll let people jump off a cliff. “Who am I to say anything?” Maybe we’re afraid we’ll lose a friend.
- Truth divides.
- You will have enemies when you speak truth.
How To Have The Hard Conversations
The goal is to redeem and restore, not condemn and punish. The exact same goal Jesus has for humankind. Like him, strive for that, motivated by loving concern for their well-being.
Telling the hard truths can only happen in trusting relationships. You cannot walk over to someone you barely talk to and lay it out. You don’t have a social economy with them.
Suppose you’re sitting at your work station, and the new guy walks up. Leaning against the door, he tells you that he’s been watching you.
A little creeped out, you ask why.
“Because you’re doing ___________ wrong and making everyone’s jobs difficult.
How would you respond?
Now imagine it was your friend who told you that. Would your response be different?
Before you go tell someone ‘like it is’, do a self-check. Are you excited about the confrontation?
If so, you’re the wrong person. It’ll come off as preachy and a personal attack. It shouldn’t be exciting to tell someone they’re messing up and it’s not going to end well.
Better is open rebuke
Than love that is concealed.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.
It doesn’t always end like you want. You may lose friends and family. Hopefully they’ll remember who was there. If you told the truth with the right attitude, they won’t have to worry about you gloating.
Is It Worth It?
We see a lot of celebrities self-destruct. Why? Because they’re surrounded by “Yes Men” and people just there for the ride.
When the dust settles, only those who loved them will still be there. Recognize the people who love you the most that will tell you the hard truth if you want to hear it or not.