Hearing truth about ourselves can set us free, but it can hurt like a knife that is cutting us. If the person sharing that truth is not carefully handing that knife to us in a way that is going to protect us and not hurt us, it can wound. Unfortunately, I see most people sharing truth in a manner that is not going to help the person with whom they are sharing the truth. Sharing truth, like handing someone a knife, can be used as a weapon to hurt the other person or it can be handed to us in a way that can empower us to cut away those things that are sucking the life out of our relationships and ourselves. I can cut away the things of the past if I understand how and where to use that truth knife, but if I am not caringly handed that truth and empowered in how to use that truth, I am likely to hurt myself or others in how I use it. I can remember many years ago being told that I was intimidating and that I needed not to be intimidating because it’s not what a good leader does. The reality is my personality type can come off as being very confident, so I knew there was truth related to what was said, but I was not instructed in how to cut away that truth with the knife of truth, only what not to do, and it left me feeling powerless as to what to do and feeling self-hatred about myself. Sometimes we want to tell people a truth that may hurt but have no idea on what the recourse is for that person. This can still be shared in love, but let the person pray about it or go to another friend or mentor for advice and counsel. When we hand people hard truths, we need to walk with them (if invited to do so) and instruct them into how to use this weapon to their benefit so that they can be empowered to use the weapon of truth, because that is exactly what truth can be if trained how to use it appropriately. We can skillfully use that truth to cut off the things that have attached themselves to ourselves in a parasitical fashion, but we cannot skillfully use truth to our advantage if not instructed and trained in using truth. When I came to understand how I expressed information about myself was contributing to the how people were experiencing me as intimidating, I could modify how I presented myself and this, in turn, modified how people experienced me. I needed a person who was powerful to empower me with truth, not a person who felt powerless hand me a truth which made me feel powerless. Are you empowering people when you share truths with them? The truth only sets people free when they are trained on how to use truth. Ephesians 4:29 says it this way, ”Say only what is good and helpful to those you are talking to, and what will give them a blessing.” To be honorable people, we need to share truth honorably and empower both ourselves and others in our speech and communication.
Ephesians 4:15-16The Message (MSG)
14-16 No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are an easy mark for impostors. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.