."Honesty is more than not lying. It is Truth telling, Truth speaking, Truth living and Truth loving." (James Faust).
As people who say we believe in Jesus and live by His words (scripture) how are we doing with this? Christians are often known for their 'niceness." We can be very nice. Nice to the point of not being authentic. Not being our real selves with people. Choosing to not speak Truth but rather 'keep the peace." (Not real peace, however).
There is a scripture that says to "put off falsehood and speak the truth..." Hmmm...is our niceness allowing us to 'wear' falsehoods? Do our systems or social strata actually encourage not being truthful? Or perhaps fear stops us from being 'real." And so we are stuck, frozen, un growing.
Tips for being a Truth Lover;
Have the courage to know yourself;
This can be difficult. One must be willing to look more deeply at actions, behaviors, words and see them from a scriptural standard, versus excusing oneself, or 'explaining things away." Liken it to surgery...painful but needed and then comes health and restoration!
Live who you say you are. Take time to examine your life. If we are going to be Truth Tellers and speak Truth into others' lives, we must begin with ourselves. Be real. Not perfect, just real. Grace is good!
Timing of speaking into another's life;
If practical, choose a time when all are rested and well. Not stressed too much. Invite. Ask if this is a good time. This is not always possible. Sometimes there is a real urgency or need in speaking Truth NOW! Especially if someone is in need of protection from harm.
Trust the Other;
This is simple. Just Trust the other is able to receive Truth. Most healthy adults are able to, even when we dislike it or it is uncomfortable. Give them time to process. Meet again for an 'after' conversation as needed.
When the Truth Telling goes south;
Ever bring up a problem and then somehow become the problem?
Yuck. This is a BIG clue the person (or system) is dysfunctional. YOU are not the problem. If a person cannot receive Truth it's a good time to give them space. Be wise.
WHY do we tell Truth? Well, there is this verse in scripture..."instead we will speak the Truth in love...growing (up) in every way...growing more and more like Christ." (Eph 4).
When we make another person the problem for being a Truth Teller, it may say a lot about our level of maturity. It may point to places where we need to have healing and growth. Sadly, many continue to hide. And Christians continue to "be nice" and not speak what they are clearly seeing/experiencing from this person. This does NOT enable growth.
We tell client's the Truth about things, as we want them to be in healthier places. It is a disservice to NOT say what we are seeing/experiencing from them. Speak with love. Be direct. We can TRUST people to hear the Truth. Just like us.
Being a Truth lover aids in moving one towards greater freedom and joy. Being a Truth Lover makes one stronger, freer and more bold for the King. Let us love Truth. Let us live Truth. For real.