I’m an advocate of truth-telling. I believe that we should love one another enough that we speak the truth into one another’s lives… even when it’s potentially painful.
For instance, I have a friend, Duane, who shared with me his concern that I was missing opportunities to affirm one of my daughters. I’m pretty good at affirming, so at first I didn’t agree with him. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized he was right. I made the necessary adjustments and now I’ve “got my groove back”, and my little lady is affirmed in the “love language” that she best receives. If Duane hadn’t spoke truth into my life, the course of my daughter’s life could be quite different. Thank you Duane.
Now here’s the thing, to speak truth into someone’s life you have to have credibility with them. This credibility is earned over time and through investments of love. If you love me and I know it, you can speak authoritative truth into my life. (Rindy has a great post on this topic here)
Sometimes I have a tendency to think that everyone wants to hear the truth, but this morning I was reading in Proverbs (chapter nine), and came across some verses that identified a group of people that, even though you love them, you probably shouldn’t “correct” them by speaking truth into their lives. Check this out:
7 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult;
whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse.
8 Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you;
rebuke a wise man and he will love you.
9 Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still;
teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.
12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.”
A few takeaways from these verses:
- There’s no point in “correcting” a “Know-it-all.” It only angers him/her and hurts you. You either have to tolerate or separate from these kinds of people.
- “Know-it-alls” will soon lose all of their friends and be alone.
- If no one ever “corrects” you… you might be perceived as a “Know-it-all.”
- If people speak truth (“correction”) into your life, don’t resent it. Instead: be grateful, receive their “correction” without getting defensive, evaluate it, and if it applies, make the necessary adjustments to your life. (Click here to read Rindy’s take on how to best receive “correction”).