Jan
04

When It’s Time to Tell the Truth

By

two-women-talking-on-bench (1)Telling the truth seems to be straightforward idea, right? You just tell it like it is and that’s that, right?

As a follower of Christ, my life is built on and dedicated to truth, so it should be easy to just tell the truth. It’s black and white, right? Well, yes…. and no.

First of all, you must know the truth before you can tell it. Although such a statement might seem obvious, many times we don’t know the truth. We don’t know the depths of truth about our own heart. We deceive ourselves. We live in denial because to face the truth would be too painful. We humans have lots of ways that we have learned to hide the truth from our own hearts, and while we might pride ourselves on being students of the truth, there are almost always ways that we haven’t been truthful with ourselves.
 
Believers in Christ are indwelt by His Holy Spirit who works ongoingly to teach us the truth about our own hearts. After grappling with our own hearts, sometimes we find it necessary to tell others the truth about the pain we’ve experienced in a relationship.
 
Why is it important to be truthful with others when they’ve hurt and disappointed us?
 
God is a God of truth. Jesus said that he was the way, the TRUTH, and the life.  Satan is the father of lies who works to deceive us and there is “no truth in him” (John 8:44) 
 
Ephesians 5 tells us that “Everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is the light that makes everything visible”. 
 
Lately, I’ve wrested with many truths about my own heart, asking God to show me the truth about my own heart, no matter how much it hurts. I struggled with whether I could trust my heart to tell others the truth in ways that would be healing and not destructive. Here are some principles I’ve used to govern my “truth telling” that might be useful to you when you engage the hard work of relationships:
 
1. Check your motives.  What is your purpose in truth-telling? Is it restoration? Redemption? Healing? Freedom? This requires a deep searching of our own souls and is not to be taken lightly. Most of us have been the victim of someone who felt self-appointed to tell us the truth about ourselves, but their telling of it left us hopeless, angry, and defeated. Sometimes that is because of their motives.  Telling the truth to bring healing is a lot different that telling the truth in order to prove your own point or vindicate yourself.
 
So when you find an overwhelming desire to “just tell the truth”, check out your motives. What is your purpose? Revenge? To hurt someone? Destruction? To prove yourself right?
 
1 Peter 3:9 teaches us that we are not to repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because we are called to do so and to do so will cause us to inherit a blessing. 
 
2. Do it God’s way and in His timing. Just because we feel ready to step into the light so that freedom and healing can come, does not mean that the other person is ready.   If someone is not ready to step into the light, you can’t make that happen (and by that, I do not mean that that they need to face the truth about themselves and that I have done no wrong. Brokenness in relationships often involves wrong on both parties).  That’s a work of God with which they must cooperate. Such restorative work requires the work of God’s Spirit in both hearts, and the truth is always to be spoken in love.
 
3. Leave the results to God. Telling the truth in relationships offers us the opportunity to move into the light. This light is the only place that true redemption and freedom and restoration can occur.  
 
So when it’s time to tell the truth and you can do it with God’s heart, know that such efforts towards redemption are pleasing to the Father.
 
 

 

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Categories : Relationships

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