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the truth can hurt – but does that make it bad?

July 15, 2008

brent has a good discussion going on over at his place. we’re talking about when is the truth good enough. is there a time when you should withhold the truth? what does it mean to do that? read the post and discussion here…it’s a great post.

then i’d like to ask you.

has there ever been a time when you have regretted speaking the truth? if so, why?

46 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2008 2:13 am

    NO, never regretted telling the truth, there were times when I wish the truth were the lie..and lies that I have regretted…so I don’t lie…just because in the end the truth was easier than the lie.

  2. July 15, 2008 4:01 am

    I can’t remember ever regretting telling the truth but I do regret giving too much information that was not necessary, we can be careful with what we say without compromising honesty.

  3. July 15, 2008 4:49 am

    About the only time I can think of withholding the truth being a good and appropriate response would be if a Nazi (or someone similar) was at my door and asked if I had any Jew hidden in my home. I would most certainly lie.

    See you over at my blog for good ol’ funny acronym Tuesday game ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. July 15, 2008 5:08 am

    Not regretted TELLING the truth, but regretting HOW I told the truth.

    I can be pretty hurtful if I’m not careful.

  5. Heidi permalink
    July 15, 2008 5:26 am

    Great post Tam…

    I left my thoughts over at Brent’s

    Withholding truth no……..

    Love ya

  6. July 15, 2008 6:47 am

    When I told my dentist, “This tooth here hurts a little when I drink something cold.” One root canal later I was seriously regretting opening up to him.

    But the tooth, or what’s left of it, has been no problem ever since.

    There’s a biblical lesson in here somewhere.

  7. July 15, 2008 7:11 am

    I can think of more times I regretted not telling the truth. It pains me when I hear people lie…

    I went through a lot of emotional strain and pain when I told my mom I would not be going back to the catholic church, but I can’t say that i regret telling her.

    ric…. Truth hurts, and so does God’s word… But it has to be said all the time even when we feel it pierce our heart.

    Hebrews 4:12
    For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

  8. TheNorEaster permalink
    July 15, 2008 7:22 am

    “Regretted telling the truth?” Sometimes I read some of the things I wrote…or say the something I’m writing now…and I actually seriously literally wish I hadn’t.

    “Why?” Because the something I’m writing now is…really hard to write. And I am SO at the end of my rope with the whole thing.

    …I might also regret clicking “Submit Comment…”

  9. July 15, 2008 7:43 am

    i can’t say that i’ve ever regretted it, but there have been a few occasions where the truth was very painful to tell…

  10. July 15, 2008 7:54 am

    Never regretted speaking the truth…sometimes it’s been hard and painful…but the truth always wins out. The biggest thing I’ve learned is waiting on His timing, and His words…

  11. July 15, 2008 8:13 am

    Busy day Tam? Its a rare day you don’t comment on your own thread. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. July 15, 2008 8:31 am

    I haven’t regretted speaking the truth but sometimes have regretted the manner in which I did it.

  13. Heidi permalink
    July 15, 2008 8:36 am

    WOW… Cindy just preached… WOW

  14. July 15, 2008 8:47 am

    has the truth, being spoken in love and thoughtful consideration, ever produced negative effects?

    good morning everyone…oh, how much i love you all. and THAT’S the truth! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. July 15, 2008 8:50 am

    There has never been a time I have regretted speaking the truth. I have, however, regretted witholding the truth.

    About 3 years ago, when my son was 12, I had to tell him that the man he had always thought was his dad…isn’t. I wanted to wait until he was old enough to understand. I wish I had been honest with him from the start. He is so smart and really understood why I held it from him, but I wonder how it really affects him. He is pretty ‘quiet’ with his feelings. His biological dad was not a good man and I had to share that part with him, too.

    Wow. Hadn’t thought of all this in a long time.

  16. July 15, 2008 8:52 am

    oh noooo, everything i say is completely appropriate and always comes across in the most loving way…it’s never had a negative effect…? WHAT?

    YES…i have to take time to think and pray before responding…to just about everything…especially at home when conversing with my wife, i can’t just react and speak the “truth”…and i’m not talking about the times when she asks if her hair looks ok…we all know that’s impossible to answer correctly…!

  17. July 15, 2008 9:27 am

    Speak the truth in love…

    Not our truths…not someone else’s truth…but THE truth.

    That doesn’t always mean I tell everything I know, some things others might not be able to handle. In love means seeking the other person’s best good.

  18. July 15, 2008 9:34 am

    I don’t think it’s EVER ok to hide the truth just because you don’t think someone can handle it.

    It’s not our place to decide that.

    I think telling BIG truths takes prayer & doing so in His timing & with His words.

  19. July 15, 2008 9:51 am

    mandy – yes. and i think the thing that prevents us from speaking truth is our own fears, pride and insecurity. that was me for far too long. and it did more damage than good. people deserve the truth always. i really dont see it any other way.

    now, like brent asked on his post…is withholding the truth good?

  20. Deborah permalink
    July 15, 2008 10:58 am

    “has the truth, being spoken in love and thoughtful consideration, ever produced negative effects?”

    Yesm’. Both ways….There have been times when the truth was spoken to me and I couldn’t recieve it..until the Lord got ahold of me. There have been times as well when I’ve spoken the truth to someone else and it’s caused a rukus. I’ve learned that with the Lord, speak it anyway, He has a purpose and He will be faithful to complete it if we are faithful to take that step, both in giving and recieving the truth.

  21. July 15, 2008 11:08 am

    i’m not about to jump in there over at B’s blog, and i don’t really even have much time to get mauled over here, but i don’t know what to do with this portion of scripture. God told Samuel to go annoint David, but Samuel said Saul will kill him if he’s going to annoint the next king. So, God tells Samuel to …..
    hide the truth?
    come up with a second story?

    1 Samuel 16:1-5 1 The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”
    2 But Samuel said, “How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me.”
    The LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”
    4 Samuel did what the LORD said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?”
    5 Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.


  22. Deborah permalink
    July 15, 2008 11:37 am

    Mandy, please donโ€™t feel mauled, but I just wanted to offer my perspective on that scripture, for what itโ€™s worth ๐Ÿ™„

    Samuel did offer a sacrifice; and it does not appear to me that he could have done the work which God designed, unless he had offered this sacrifice, and called the elders of the people together, and this collected Jesseโ€™s sons. But he did not tell the principle design of his coming; had he done so, it would have produced evil and no good. What he did here, to me, is not tell the whole truthโ€ฆ
    Another topic maybe??

  23. July 15, 2008 11:46 am

    I guess Mandy I am missing what concerns you about that scripture. Samuel was concerned that Saul would find out but he only went to see Jesse and his sons and did anoint David. Saul wasn’t there – The sacrifice was true – that would have been required. He did not tell Jesse the whole story, but he did not lie. He withheld information which is not specifically being dishonest. There was no deception, if withholding information creates deception then you are on dangerous ground. Note – Samuel did not even know who was to be anointed – selected until the last minute. I am no biblical scholar – just my thoughts.

  24. July 15, 2008 12:00 pm

    ILP… well… that’s the whole issue with the woman in question isn’t it? Withholding information from her daughter?

    The problem I have personally with interpreting Scripture like that is God specifically spoke to Samuel. That’s a pretty unique situation. To take that episode and extrapolate it to say that ‘it was OK for Samuel so it’s OK for me’ is a stretch (unless God specifically speaks to you). God can do whatever He wants. He has divine knowledge that we’re not privy to. We find ourselves constantly looking at what God did in a certain circumstance and make an assumption that it pertains to us… it always gets us into trouble.

    Isn’t that how a lot of people justify war?

    “Well, God told Joshua to slaughter all those folks, that makes it OK for me”

    … uhh… you’re not Joshua last time I checked…

  25. lazrus2 permalink
    July 15, 2008 12:14 pm

    I was thinking of commenting on your last post ‘self less’, but decided to add it here since I think it’s relevant to this discussion as well.

    But first, I hope it’s okay to attempt an answer to Mandy T’s question above. If you get to it first, we’ll see if we share the answer =). Anyway, if you look at the last verse of 1 Sam. 15 (just preceeding the quote noted), it reads:

    “Samuel never went to meet with Saul again, but he mourned
    constantly for him. And the LORD was sorry he had ever made
    Saul king of Israel.” NLT

    It sounds to me that Samuel never had an opportunity to give Saul any input about David. The anointing may have become known to Saul, since he tried to capture him (D) at Samuel’s place later (1 Sam. 19), but they didn’t have any conversation then either it seems. God protected him from that dilemma I believe.

    And back to Tam’s question:
    “has the truth, being spoken in love and thoughtful
    consideration, ever produced negative effects?”

    I definitely agree with (and relate to) Deb’s response to that, and would add, as Michelle commented:
    “In love means seeking the other personโ€™s best good.”
    Just as we often have trouble receiving needed ‘correction’ from loving truth spoken to us, we may have to take a chance on speaking truth for ‘the other person’s best good’ even when we know it may have disasterous effects (including to ourselves).

    That’s where the ‘self-less’ part comes in. I think too many times we withold truth from those we love because their rejection of it (and us) would be too personally traumatic.
    Yet, it is worth the risk because it’s the only way we have a chance of ever ‘growing up’:
    ” Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ. ”
    (Eph 4:14-16 -NIV)

    That verse ‘motivates’ me to action, in the same context as:
    Matt 7:12
    Do for others what you would like them to do for you. This is a summary of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. NLT
    Heb 10:24
    And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. NIV

    That word for ‘spur’ in the Greek means, to “incite, sharpen alongside, dispute, or even exasperate” ={ !! … sounds pretty ‘risky’ to me, but necessary to ‘get the horse where it needs to be’ even though you might get ‘bucked off’ in the process =}!

    And in answer to your first question (original post’s):
    No, no regrets.
    If it’s something very serious, risky, but needed, I have no doubts about acting on it, at God’s direction, and in His love.


  26. July 15, 2008 12:16 pm

    Actually Buddy, the way I view that question over at B’s is yes, I would tell my daughter about what had happened. As God leads…through prayer, the same way Tam told her daughter which I have the utmost respect for. The details, no. My kids know I did drugs…I was very honest with them at the time that the Lord prompted me to share..I answered all of their questions truthfully and the Lord has been faithful to use my testimony in their lives to prevent them the same fate that I endured from my self inflicted muck. No, I have not shared with them all of the sorid details…nor will I unless it is something from God. Is that not telling the whole truth?

    I agree with you that people use scripture as an excuse…..and that every “case” or walk is different. It’s important to learn discernment and keep in touch with what God wants to show specifically as His child.

  27. July 15, 2008 12:20 pm

    Hmm… no I can’t say that I have ever regretted telling the truth. Sometimes I’ve regretted holding my tongue. It’s all in the delivery and if the truth will drive them closer to God.

    I had someone tell me something they thought I needed to know. In fact, it wasn’t and it caused the destruction of a friendship, for which I am better off.

  28. July 15, 2008 12:30 pm

    I never regret telling the truth. Sometimes it is what needs to be said and if feelings are hurt that is tough.

  29. July 15, 2008 12:34 pm

    lazrus2 – YES! everything you said. yes! thank you for your input.

    i have also found that often times withholding the truth, like you implied above, is more often about me than the other person. selfishness. its not so much that we dont want that person to be hurt – its more that WE dont want to be the ones ‘doing’ the hurt (or speaking words, even in truth, that may be received as hurtful) but that isnt our decision, how another might respond. our responsibility always is to be truthful in love. and each situation will present itself with its unique challenges. being sensitive and in tune with His lead will allow you to know exactly what to share. truth is always freeing. but some choose to let it hold them in bonds. the giver and receiver.

  30. Heidi permalink
    July 15, 2008 12:49 pm

    It takes two to speak the truth one to speak, and another to hear. ~ Henry David Thoreau
    This quote I had in my archives.

    I was reminded by your comment Tam..
    So spoken from God.

  31. July 15, 2008 1:31 pm

    Truth???? Wow that is a great idea (directed at someone else not you Tam)

    I think that it is difficult to do sometimes but it always is better to get it over with and tell the truth.


  32. July 15, 2008 1:48 pm

    oh my…I don’t have anything, but I know my husband always regrets telling me something truthful and I get all emotional or upset about it.

  33. July 15, 2008 1:58 pm

    I don’t regret telling the truth to anyone, because if its the truth and accidentially comes out of my mouth, than I figure it wasn’t my words in the first place….

    Truth hurts. But said in love, it doesn’t hurt so bad.

    ๐Ÿ™‚ ang

  34. July 15, 2008 3:54 pm

    I am going to have to say truth is most circumstances. I mean, I know the truth is the right way to go and over at Brents place thats a hard one, being such a big issue. Personally if I was the rape victim who ended up pregnant I really dont know what my choice would be. But being the believer I am now I know I would go to God with it and wait upon His exact instructions.

    Ok so when I say most I want to clarify this…..

    When my friend asks if I like her new haircut and I dont….I lie.
    I lie to spare her feelings because even if I tell the truth it changes nothing except her feelings, which might I add would then be hurt and leave her 2nd guessing if she should have ever gotten the cut. So yes, honestly at times, I will lie.

  35. July 15, 2008 4:01 pm

    you bring up an interesting point gretch (and btw, i cant leave comments on your blog ๐Ÿ˜ฆ )

    why do we, on a smaller scale here but important all the same, ask questions we really dont want honest answers too?

    is it fair of me to ask someone how my hair looks if i know im gonna be pissed if they tell me it doesnt look good?

  36. July 15, 2008 4:04 pm

    “has there ever been a time when you have regretted speaking the truth? if so, why?’

    You can ask any how my ex-girlfriends. Why? There all EX-girlfriends. ๐Ÿ™‚

    To work past the emotional problems of my youth I developed a vary hard, cold, unemotional, approach to life. To the point of being too blunt and insensitive when dealing with other people. That worked in the short term. I learned however that if didn’t want to go through through life alone I needed to learn to become more diplomatic and sensitive to how other people felt.

    I am probably still not as diplomatic as I should be as evidence by the fact that all my girlfriends become ex-girlfriends all too quickly. ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. July 15, 2008 4:13 pm

    exactly ed…it is vital that our approach is highly thought through as well as our motive.

  38. Heidi permalink
    July 15, 2008 5:03 pm

    You bring up a very good point and an exhausting dilemma.
    We all want admiration and acceptance. But not everyone is going to like you.

    So like Gretchen says, Maybe you do get that new stylish haircut and it looks like you cut around a bowl instead and colored it with a magic marker, are you going to lie?

    My son says, :they are only white lies!!” Is there such a thing Tam? Can we go around telling everyone the TRUTH 100% of the time? Can we handle the truth?

  39. July 15, 2008 5:16 pm

    well. if someone asked for my opinion of their new cut. and it really was atrocious (by SOME standard) yes, i would tell the truth …BUT gently. if they didnt ask, why would i say anything at all. i wouldn’t. theres no need.

  40. Heidi permalink
    July 15, 2008 5:18 pm

    True amd in total agreement.

    But what if that person asked you?

    Don’t get me wrong. I am about being honest and not lying. But giving the total truth is so gray at times.

  41. Heidi permalink
    July 15, 2008 5:24 pm

    Here’s a simple example:

    “momma see my elephant?””

    Looking down you see only a bunch of scribbles…

    “why yes, here is is” pointing to a bunch
    “no momma here!, can’t you see them?”

    As a mom I have faced that one. I do see the scribbles maybe not the elephant, but I am not going to tear down my 7 year old because I can’t see his elephant. I’m not really lying right?
    I see the scribbles.

  42. July 15, 2008 5:57 pm

    heidi, fostering a young ones imagination is one thing. telling a friend who asks about her atrocious hair cut that, yes indeed, is terrible… are completely different things. imo. in the childs situation, to tell her there is no elephant and shes just crazy would tear her down. to lie to a friend when asked your opinion will break trust….i assume if someone asks, then they want the truth.

    did i even answer the question? truthfully now ๐Ÿ˜‰

    love you so much heidi!

  43. Heidi permalink
    July 15, 2008 6:35 pm


    Okay we have a lady with a whacked up haircut..

    and we have a 7 year old with a page of scribbles representing a mysterious elephant.

    I think both of them are the same.

    The only difference is one is old enough to comprehend.

    Maybe the lady showed a picture to a hairdresser and said I want this color and cut. (( I have so been there))) and it turns out like an Andy Warhol creation. She know she’s going to have to leave the Supercuts and face her peers and family.
    She gets in the car feeling a little weirded out because she’s worried about what everyone is going to say. She looks in the rearview mirror time and time again doubting herself of her new accomplishment. She goes an sees her best friend and there’s a weird silence and ackwardness..

    Then there’s the the 7 year old who runs home to show his new masterpiece and again there’s a weird silence and ackwardness ( i cannot spell that word)) and he’s waiting.

    They are both looking for acceptance and truth in what they have accomplished.

    I think (( my opinion)) that when we speak to either, we need to fill the ackwardness with love. Then we move in with truth at another moment. Like you said.

    It doesn’t matter how old you are or how mature you are.
    A bad hair cut or a page of scribbles.

    It’s making sure that with truth and honesty that we are NOT tearing down or become offensive.

    I need to find this elephant!!! dang!!

    Love you so much Tam!!!

  44. July 15, 2008 8:36 pm

    i can remember regretting telling the truth. looking back, i don’t wish i’d lied. i just wouldn’t have disclosed all that i did.

    transparency is so hard for me. and whenever i offer it and it’s met with hostility, anger, judgment, or just plain misunderstanding… i instantly regret it.

  45. July 15, 2008 9:00 pm

    Hey guys,

    I am just so smitten and enamored with ya’ all’s blogs (not I’m not from the south – grew up in small town in S. Wa. We say it too, but probably wrong :0). I am feeling like a tiny little nat because I haven’t left the “here’s what we did today,” blog thingy, but I have to tell you I love visiting all you people and am so happy I found you. If you want to see some really exciting pics I took of my boys hop on over to my blog, He, he. In the meantime I will try and thing of something exciting to blog about. But if that doesnt happen, still love you people! You’re awesome. Oh, and because of you Tam, I found Papa. He visited my simple post of my boys today and said he was praying for me. Me! Go figure. How cool is that???!!! Had not idea what I was missing out on in blog-o-sphere, but here I am.

    Have a great evening!


  46. July 17, 2008 3:23 am

    The truth is…I miss you terribly..and that hurts. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Love you girly, hope I can hook up with you soon…missing me some Tam, and the laughter, and those eyes!!!! you are beautiful…what a gift from God you are!!

    This my sista is truth!

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