Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tell It Like It Is

Is it ever okay to just tell it like it is? I have come across many people in my life who do just that. Take it or leave it, offended or not I will speak my mind and tell it like it is cause gosh darnit that is how I am. Speak truth and call it a day. I know for me that I have hurt others with my factual truth of the matter. My son said to me once that it's hard to argue with me because the truth is what it is when spoken, but my delivery could use a little work.

Can we deliver truth gently? Do we have to earn the right to speak the truth? I struggle in this area. I must be honest. And in struggling in this area I may come across as judgemental, but truthfully that is not my intentions. A couple of months ago our pastor spoke on this matter and I love love loved it. Taken from my notes:

He spoke from James 4:11 & 12

vs. 11 Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.

vs. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?

The pastor threw out this question..."are we blasting or blessing?"

When James speaks of the brethren he is writing to believers and calling us to a standard of living amoungst ourselves. Verse 11 is basically saying that we are not to slander, speak evil, speak carelessly or critically of another.

And verse 12 is basically saying it's God's job to judge and our job to love.

However this is what these two verses do not mean. And this is where clarity has come in this judging and truth speaking stuff we Christians seem to twist up so delicately.

1. These verses do not mean we arent' to examine the fruit. (speaking to Christians)
We are to keep His commandments. Take a moment to read Phil 1:9, 1Tim.3

2. It does not mean we are not to reproove your brother in private (convince or correct) Proverbs 9....reproove a wise man

3. It does not mean we are not to rebuke-->there is a time-->warnings of the heart
Proverbs 27:5-6, 2Tim 4:2

4. Doesn't mean we are not to exhort and encourage

This all is taken from my notes from a very Godly man, who speaks truth and accountability is his teaching.

What does James mean:

1. Believe the best about people. Matt 7:1 Take a look at your own life first

2. Be quick to forgive others. Ephesians 4:32, 1Peter 5:8->above all keep fervent in your love for one another.

3. Be one who gently restores people. Galations 6:1->you who are spiritual restore with a gentle spirit.

I do not believe we are to tell it like it is. I am always so shocked, speechless, uncomfortable when someone who has not earned the right in my space or life to tell me like it is. It immediately points them away from the Cross and more like a better than most attitude. I know I have walked this line and am working deeply on this.

It's harder for those of us with stronger personalities to say "well this is how God made me" and then to bolt right through. I did not see any disclaimers of personality types in any of the passages I have read. Thus that attitude is one to push through what God is trying to pull back in our lives. Gently, whoa there big kid, STOP!!!!!

I have been praying over a friend for weeks now. One who I believe we both value the depth of our friendship. Today I prayed hard for her. Wow, did God just swoop down and take care of me in this process. Out of the blue she called me and God just gave me wisdom beyond my own doing. I was able to gently speak truth of a matter that was very hard. And guess what this dear friend could hear it, accept it, understand it and blessed me by saying that she values that I would speak that. I would be lying if I said this was just all my own brilliance as a friend. But it is not. It's the WORD of God that has to intervene into my heart and soul. Asking myself and praying that the timing be right.

I can be very frank and say the human part of me wanted to just tell it like it is a few months back, but like my previous post says the words never came out. A small victory for me through the leading of the Holy Spirit. Today was the day for me to talk with this dear friend of mine. Did I tell it like it is today. Yes, but with firmness in my voice and gentleness in my soul. She most likely will be reading this and I want you to know once again as I have shared face to face countless times how very much I love you. I may not be so eloquent, nor use big words, but they are words of love, truth, hope, and a directing to the God who cares deeply for each one of us.

I pray that as you pause in our own life to reflect you ask yourself if you are blasting or blessing. I think those are good words. Thanks to a pastor who bring clarity to the Word of God


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this Elizabeth. I pray that I am close enough to you now that you would speak the truth to me as well. I am finding that I love being surrounded by those who will hold me accountable. We all need to learn the fine line between judging and being the friend that speaks the truth. May I have the same results as you have had. Take care.

  2. There is a vast difference between speaking truth and criticism from a critical spirit. Many Christians seem to fear sharing opinions or views will be seen as a critical spirit. God did give us brains to use them...

  3. Really, really, really good post. Being that I have a strong personality too I totally understood this message. I definitely need work in this area. I will surely ask myself from now on "am I blasting or blessing," before I open my mouth.

  4. Excellent post! This is something I am super-sensitive to and I think it is SO important for us as Christians to be gentle to others in this way. So many times recently I have not blogged about things that I really wanted to because I have a few regular commenters who are "tell it like it is" and I dreaded jusgemental comments.

  5. Truth in love is good balance. It's not easy but it takes people deeper in relationship when it goes well.

    Have a Happy Mother's Day.

  6. Hitting on a nerve with this one friend! I'm the "bull in the china shop"; my husband is the kind and gentle sweeper who follows behind to clean up my mess. There are occasions when my"forthright" manner serves me well, but more than often, it only serves to open up my life for humiliation.

    I'm learning to step back and guard my words more carefully. It's a constant vigilance for me and through the power of the Holy Spirit, I'm enable to do so. Thank God for his abiding presence in my heart and life. The more I know him, the more I'm willing to concede my mouth for his glory, not mine.


  7. Your words are so true! I wait for the permission to speak... sometimes it is a long wait... but you're right... when we wait and trust and seek permission... we are able to be eloquent and gentle of speech. And how I long to be told the truth... IN LOVE!


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