Summary: Truth is a key to every health relationship, although it is sometimes hard to handle. This message is about how to receive and give truth in a healthy way.
Handling the Truth
“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”
One of the most famous lines from the movie ‘A Few Good Men’ is, “I want the truth! You can’t handle the truth.” Whether you want to hear this or not, truth has to be a part of every healthy relationship, no matter how painful it may be when it’s said. Human nature does not handle truth very well. We often don’t welcome people into our lives who speak the truth because it puts us in a place where we have to admit our failings or shortcomings, humble ourselves, and then change. I would say the majority of people struggle with this and yet it is so very important to any kind of growth or maturity process in our lives. So how do we develop relationships to the point where we not only take truth, but welcome it as well as be able to speak the truth into someone else’s life in the right way?
Truth: A verified or indisputable fact, proposition, or the like: mathematical truths. The state or character of being true.
Jesus said that He is, “the way the truth and the life.” If Jesus is truth then our lives should reflect truth. We should love what is true and hate what is not. Proverbs 15:14 says this, “A wise person is hungry for truth, while the fool feeds on trash. Truth must be one of the markers of every healthy relationship. I want to speak first on how to get to the point of being able to welcome people speaking truth in to your life and then we’ll speak about being able to speak truth into someone else’s life, because you can’t give it if you can’t take it!
3 rules for welcoming truth into your life:
1) A healthy view of yourself.
Paul says in Romans 12:3 that we all need to have an honest view of ourselves. When you look in the mirror you should not see something perfect, I know I certainly don’t. We all know that we have not arrived at stage where we no longer need to improve or change. If you can look at yourself in this way then you will open the door for growth and change. We must also realize that we cannot see all the things in our lives that need changing. We are too close to the situation and it takes someone else to see that truth. We all have blind spots! Do you all agree that these things are true?
2) Trusting people in the right places.
It is important that we understand that we don’t need to listen to everyone. There are some people who will speak only hurt and even destruction into your life, but you must listen to those who love you and those who have a position of authority. We don’t trust because we’ll never get hurt, we trust because it provides a healthy ground for relationship, growth and community. You need to trust people who you know would never intentionally hurt you. Proverbs 27:6. This is one of the major events where God taught me to welcome truth and it has benefited me ever since.
3) Love what is true and grow
Once you take truth on once and you really allow it to set you free, you will begin to love truth and the growth that comes with it. Jesus said it clearly in John 8:32 “and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Truth brings freedom from darkness, ignorance and being trapped in false reality. Who likes being in the dark? Nobody that I know of. People who love truth love the lights switched on and in life Jesus is the one who switches the lights on.
If you can welcome these few steps into your life then you get a working knowledge of all the feelings and difficulties of not only hearing truth, but implementing it into your life. Once you have gone through that you can begin to share truth with others, being made sensitive by what you have gone through.
1 Rule for speaking truth:
Paul says in Ephesians 4:15 that we hold to the truth in love. Love is what makes truth palatable. Love will ensure that you are living the truth before telling someone else to live in it. Love will make you sensitive enough to wait for the right time and place, because you know how hard it was when you went through it. Being sensitive does not mean you don’t do it in case you hurt their feelings, it just means you take their feelings into consideration enough to do it in the right time. Love will check your motivations to ensure that they are pure, righteous and not self-seeking. Many times truth starts flying out of our mouths when we are hurt and upset. Truth is used more as ammunition rather than a tool for help and growth. Truth at the wrong time and with the wrong attitude can be devastating and destructive. It is still true, but you are not trying to help them, you’re trying to hurt them by exposing them. Truth and love must walk hand in hand.