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the hurtful truth

November 23, 2009

sometimes…i get angry. sometimes…i get frustrated with people. sometimes…i wanna shake people. (i fully realize that many likely feel the same toward me and i am working to recognize the moments that might prompt these feelings in others.) and, sometimes…i wanna scream. sometimes…i know im gonna say the wrong thing. and i say it anyway.

and most of the time – i refrain. or at least try.

but ALL of the time – God is right there. He is fully aware of my flesh when i am not. He is equipping me, He has equipped me, to respond correctly, in a loving manner.

does that mean that we are to sometimes be a doormat? does responding lovingly mean that the hurtful truth cant be spoken? i dont think so.

so…wheres the line? how does one speak the hurtful truth, knowing it will offend the other, yet – still speak it anyway? and by hurtful truth i do not mean saying the truth hurtfully. but what is our responsibility in this?

all i know is “love God – love people”.  this surely includes tough love or it wouldnt be true love at all.

please chime in with your thoughts…

 

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2009 12:55 pm

    Not so good at this. Especially in my personal life. I want everyone to like me so sometimes I don’t let them know when they are doing things that I don’t like. I need to learn to critique lovingly. Sometimes I feel I only have two options – to retreat or to respond harshly. And neither really helps me (or them) out.

  2. November 23, 2009 12:58 pm

    i think i see where you stand, and i have to agree that true love does include tough love. if it didn’t, then there is obviously a real level of love that is missing.

    if my husband, for example, never confronted me about issues that need to be addressed, even though he recognizes that it will probably hurt me at that moment, i would never be able to grow or learn to live like the Lord. God uses our love, especially our tough love sometimes, to shape us and mold us into who He wants us to be.

    BUT, with that said, i definitely think that all to often we use confrontation and negative communication poorly, covering it with the umbrella of tough love. if we are in the moment, and we are angry, we are bound to say something we don’t mean. the most loving thing to do, even if we have something “bad” to say is to wait. breathe. pray. wait some more. and THEN address the issue.

  3. Andy permalink
    November 23, 2009 1:01 pm

    He gives us tough love, it’s part of His discipline. We are to love others as we love ourselves, are we brutally or hurtfully honest with outselves. Most likely not, especially if we are living our lives through Him, but we are honest.

    Its tough not to rebuke someone out of anger and not just bite your tongue and pray for them later, especially the one’s we love the most.

  4. November 23, 2009 1:17 pm

    I am so not good at doing it….i am a very passive person, so i will let things go for a long time and then i kind of just shut that person out…stop answering the phone or texts. Which is so unhappy.

    When i was in school i was told about this cool concept for confrontation….Think about OREO’s…which i know you love.

    Cookie – encouraging words
    Creme – criticism or confrontation
    Cookie – encouraging words

    And that has helped me immensely. But my one rule in speaking the truth in love is making sure that if i do say something i work at being very intentional in the relationship to make sure they know that i am not walking out on the friendship because of the conflict.

    i feel like i rambled and didnt make sense…but i did mention oreos…so that makes it better.

    • November 23, 2009 3:09 pm

      love that analogy! and i’m sure tam totally gets it now. 😉

      • November 24, 2009 5:42 am

        I am sure….i got it once it was explained to me in the oreo….except now i cant eat an oreo without thinking about it. ha!

  5. November 23, 2009 1:32 pm

    I’ll never forget James MacDonald’s words when were going through his study of ‘Lord, Change My Attitude.’ He said, “There’s friction in truth.”

    If you speak the truth to people, there are times when people will get their feelings hurt. It’s hard to face up to that sometimes. But it is what it is.

  6. November 23, 2009 1:55 pm

    I’m always thinking “God knows my heart.” Knowing that, if I say nothing, I’m lying cuz I know the truth and didn’t share it. And my goal is to be 100% honest, 100% of the time.
    Now, deciphering where it is “my place” to share the truth is a completely different story cuz, unfortunately, lots of us share the truth when we have no business doing so.

  7. Heidi permalink
    November 23, 2009 2:24 pm

    It’s not enough to rage against the lie.. you’ve got to replace it with the truth.
    Bono –

    Hard to swallow, to give, to recieve. but necessary.

  8. November 23, 2009 3:15 pm

    hurtful truth is exactly that… HURTFUL… but more importantly, it’s truth.

    i think you do the best you can by delivering this with love and grace. know you might get attacked back but know it’s not personal… and just keep on loving.

    BUT… for me… i know i need to wait till i don’t feel like i need to SHAKE that person anymore, but desire to hug them in THEIR hurts.

    i’m still figuring it out.

    … at least this is how i deal with you. BAM!!!

  9. November 23, 2009 3:55 pm

    Applying the Oreo principle works quite nicely with TimTams too

    Though that way it all just melts together, so the encouraging words become the criticism/confrontation which becomes the encouraging words and you’re left with a lovely gooey mess which hurts a little but mainly is just way too good to miss.

    Or more srsly, what Lynse & Jenni said. Done.

  10. November 23, 2009 9:20 pm

    Hmmmm. I guess I would have to say for me, its not about NOT saying something, but how you say it. There are many times when I have to edit what I’m about to say in my head first, so the not-so-nice version doesn’t come splashing out. I will still say what I need to say, but just re-tweek it a bit. Love is telling the truth or tough love as you called it, but its also saying it in a way thats loving. hehehehe. HOpe that makes sense. Its early here.

  11. November 23, 2009 11:51 pm

    I’m in kindergarten on this one. But I hear you loud and clear.

  12. November 24, 2009 8:29 am

    I think it includes tough love as well…doormat..no way.

    Jesus wasn’t a doormat…not happening.

    I do think though there is a spot where you can cross the line but it becomes recognized because the act then shifts from tough love to something else.

  13. Kristi O permalink
    November 24, 2009 11:15 am

    I believe that a principal I learned from my folks and their parenting style and the same I have adopted is love also includes enough love to discipline. I think this crosses over at times with hard/tough conversations. Its all in the delivery. I have had to have many tough/hard conversations some much easier than others, they always come from a place of deep love or I wouldn’t have the right to have them.

  14. TheNorEaster permalink
    November 25, 2009 6:43 am

    I have grown quite skeptical, if not pessimistic, about sharing too much in Blog-Land these days. Sadly, because of this, I just deleted a lengthy, thoughtful comment that, once upon a time, might have shed some light on your situation.

    You have my profound apologies.

    • TheNorEaster permalink
      November 25, 2009 6:44 am

      Should have just deleted that one, too. Duh.

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