Does this dress make me look fat? How did you like my presentation? Did you enjoy your meal? Are you mad at me?
We all ask questions like these, but do we really want the truth no matter what?
When I was a teen I remember asking my dad if he liked my haircut – it was 1978 and I got the trending cut at that time, “The Dorothy Hamill” wedge.
It look darling on her, but not so much on me. My dad validated what I already knew when he responded with, “Do you like it? If you like it that’s all that matters”. No, I didn’t like it, and I was hoping he could convince me that I did. Instead he delivered the truth in the gentlest way he knew how.
Are you familiar with the old testament story of King David and Bathsheba? David was the boy who slew the giant with a slingshot, and years later was appointed King of Judah. He was rich, beloved, and well, had everything a man could want, but I guess that wasn’t enough. One day he spied Bathsheba bathing across a distant rooftop. He immediately desired her and had her brought to his palace. He slept with her and she got pregnant. He later had her faithful husband Uriah murdered and then Bathsheba became his queen.
David’s advisor Nathan saw the evil in David’s actions and soon made him see it as well by telling David a parable about a rich man who stole from a poor one. David was livid that the rich man could be so heartless! Then Nathan dropped the bomb: you are the rich man.
David knew what he had done was reprehensible. He could have cast Nathan out from his court – but he didn’t. He needed accountability and although it was painful, he wanted truth.
Sometimes we can be too involved or blind from our own denial that we don’t see things as they really are. Do you want the truth, even if it stings? My fingers are paused on home row. It’s a tough question. I want to say yes because I know it’s the wise choice. I can’t grow without truth. Yet it’s in my nature to avoid pain.
I think the best you and I can ask for is to have people in our life who are honest, but not brutal, who speak the truth in love.
The more I think about it, truth trumps pain. I may not like it, but I don’t want sugar coated lies. Does this dress make me look fat? Obviously or I wouldn’t be asking. However…don’t be too quick to say yes lest I drop three sizes in self-esteem. Tell me it doesn’t accentuate my best features, or it’s a nice dress but I look stunning in the black one.
At the end of the day, I want truth. Not half-truths, not sugar-coated-beat-around-the-bush blah blahs. The truth, and nothing but the truth so help me God! How about you? Truth, as in
I may not always like the truth, but it’s only the truth that will set me free.
If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. C.S. Lewis