MLCC Thoughts - Truth
Truth. I have noticed a recurring theme in many of the movies, TV shows and books that I see and read. Two people are in relationship. The relationship is progressing along nicely, and then an interaction occurs, in which one or both of the parties are untruthful. I want to cry out, "Stop! This is going to destroy your relationship."
Of course, as the script unfolds, the parties continue to loudly proclaim they are telling the truth. Then it happens; the relationship crumbles into pieces, and cannot be reassembled. The relationship fails. Why couldn't they be truthful to each other? Why did they find it necessary to cover the truth, even vehemently try to deny they are lying? What are they trying to gain by being untruthful, when they know how lies destroy relationships? Why go down that road, when they know it only leads to a dead end and loneliness?
I have been told to speak the truth in love. This is sometimes understood as, a person must be willing to say the hard truth to another, but with an attitude of love. This is true, yet, that is not all it means. It means more. It is deeper, richer than this. In every interaction with others, truth must be spoken; not just the hard truth the other needs to hear, but truth.
The first way (speaking the hard truth in love) places me as the teacher, the one above the relationship, the one who has to tell the other the wrong things they are doing that will negatively affect their life. Of course, with love, genuine love. Certainly, this is necessary at times. The other way (speaking truth at all times) places me in co-relationship, not above or below the other, but alongside. The truth spoken then guards the relationship and sets the parameters in which the relationship can flourish, as long as other important elements are interacting with truth.
Speaking truth at all times requires more than knowing right from wrong and the courage to tell others the hard truth. It requires humility. It requires an honest assessment of myself and my motives. It requires an accurate sense of who I am as a human being.
Speaking truth alludes some, because they are unwilling to humble themselves and admit they were wrong, wrong in thinking, wrong in attitude or action. Few enjoy acknowledging this. It is too painful. It is too embarrassing. It is too humiliating. So, they hide the truth, hoping none will ever discover their secret. This is stressful; it drains their energy.
Untruth, by its very nature, divides. There is something, a void, a chasm, a distance that untruth creates. It does not bring two people closer together. It causes them to drift apart, with no anchor to hold the relationship, or glue to cement it together. So, truth is essential for the space between two parties to decrease, for healthy relationships to blossom, and for the bonding of two souls together.
Speaking truth to others demands I assess myself and my motives, and humbly acknowledge when I am wrong (which is far too often). I must understand that as a human being I am too often weak, selfish and proud. I must be willing to acknowledge when I am wrong and seek forgiveness for harming the relationship. I must be in co-relationship with the other. I must do my part in the relationship. I must acknowledge that as truth-teller I am taking responsibility to create an atmosphere in which a healthy relationship can flourish.
So, I say, when the temptation comes to speak untruth with another, "Stop! This is going to destroy your relationship." Speak truth at all times. This guarantees the possibility of healthy relationships. And.. this is good. Good for you and me, and good for our society.