Thursday, January 31, 2013

painful conversations




“Honesty is the best policy.”  Have you heard that phrase before?  Real friends and confident people appreciate honesty.  I appreciate honesty as well, but some of those conversations aren’t easy.  It is hard to hear what some people need to share.

I’d like to talk to you about what it ought to be like to share the truth with people you care about even when the truth is hard to say or hard to hear. 

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

We are called to make each other better.  As we care about the people in our lives we will want to make them better by sharing truth, but often it is really like iron sharpening iron.  It is rough, grinding, difficult but important. 

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Kindness goes a long way.  When people know you care, they are more apt to hear what you have to say.  Our words have to bring healing to those we share them with.  Words can be seasoned with grace and kindness and still be totally honest.

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

Before you speak or share with another person make sure that your motive it right.  If those words aren’t intended to bring life and strength, maybe they should not be shared.  It is possible to speak difficult words and have them covered in love.

This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.

When we care about people, we will want to make a difference in their lives.  To not share truth is really not to love like Jesus did.  He spoke the truth to those who He came in contact with and made sure that the person heard and saw the love of God spelled out.  Often His words were not easy to hear. 

From time to time I have to have painful conversations that are very tough.  The people who really care about me will do all they can to encourage me even by sharing the things that I don’t want to hear but need to hear.  The people that I really care about need me to be honest with them.  Stop sweeping things under the proverbial rug and deal with situations and life so that each of us gets stronger and better.

Painful conversations point to the fact that God taught us about love and that we care about people God brings our way.  Don’t miss what God is calling you to do.  Don’t let the people around you miss the best that God has for them.

Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God.  Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.

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