Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I've been troubled by a lack of honesty lately.

No, I haven't turned into a big, fat liar, but I have been noticing how rarely people are really honest with each other. Work, home, even at church (the supposed bastion of truth), we just don't come clean. Instead we tip toe around issues saying the opposite of what we really think; we secretly whisper the truth to other people, but won't admit to how we really feel to the people most needing to know.

Take, for instance, this situation at work. There's a bit of a nasty pasty there. We all talk about her when she isn't around, relaying the latest offence she's caused and bemoaning her meanness. We talk about how we could confront her and request that she not speak to us with such a lack of respect. But we never do it. We never face her with the truth of how we feel or what we think about her small minded power games. We simply aren't honest, and our lack of transparency and assertiveness keeps our relationship at a disatisfying status quo. It could be argued that we also prevent her from becoming more self aware and able to grow.

Then there's church. One woman there is particularly manipulative and as I have a small amount of authority in one area, she trys her wiles on me. I am fairly resistant to manipulative charms (though I must admit to being a master of them - I try my best to keep them under control!), so I refuse to budge. Which brings out further attempts at manipulation which makes me dig my heels in harder. Rather a destructive relational style. Quite possibly we just need some honest talk here - "Please stop manipulating me to get your way. It will not work! Let's talk openly about what you want, why you want it and how we can achieve it together."

I'm not suggesting we go around saying horrible things for the sake of truth and honesty - that would be hurtful and destructive - but maybe if we were bit more real and spoke the truth in love, our relationships would be deeper and stronger and we would work together more cohesively. We might be more successful at getting the job done and we might be characterised by harmony instead of misunderstanding.

This all sounds good in theory, but I'm not sure how it works in practice. Jesus makes it all sound rather simple when he says:
There's trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests... Your task is to be true, not popular.
OK, I get the need to be truthful. I even see the benefits of truthfulness, but it takes a lot of guts to be a truth speaker. It takes wisdom to know when to speak and when to be silent! I don't want to go around crushing people because I'm determined to tell them the truth! I do however want honest and real relationships where we cut to the chase and engage deeply and meaningfully.

In light of this, I've determined to speak the truth more often, whether at home, at work or at church. I want to engage with people in a pure, open way without the undercurrent of unspoken thoughts and feelings. Hopefully by doing so I will grow, others will grow, and relationships will blossom. That's the theory anyway!


At 6:46 am, November 22, 2006, Blogger Robyn said...

Oooh thats hard. I can't stand "bitchiness" so I won't talk behind somebody's back (although I will talk to Paul about things but that feels different) but I find it really hard to confront people. If its important then I'll do my best but I think I often just put up with whatever is bothering me because I don't want the awkwardness of a hard conversation. I hadn't really thought about it potentially cheating them. Way to give me the guilts Cec!


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