In Others’ Words: The Beautiful, Terrible Truth
I respect the truth.
I wrote those words … and realized that there was a time in the last 24 hours where I was less than truthful. I didn’t lie. No. I just didn’t speak up and state the truth, the whole truth, so help me God.
Of course, I wasn’t on the witness stand, my hand on the Bible, standing before a judge and jury. And I had a very good reason for speaking less than the truth. I had to choose between the truth of how I perceived a situation and how I was feeling or protecting a relationship.
I chose to protect a relationship.
If I’d told the truth — how I honestly felt — well, what would have been the point? What would I have gained? Being right? Well, yes, there is that. And sometimes the truth must be spoken for just that reason: because your words shine a spotlight on the wrong being done.
But there is also a time to treat the truth with caution. Is now the time to speak the truth — or is now the time to know the truth and to stay silent because the truth, once spoken, is more terrible than beautiful?
Think past the truth to the consequences of the words you speak. Will the truth you speak shut someone down? Is the truth fueled more by negative emotion — anger or self-righteousness — than a desire to foster reconciliation or understanding?
In Your Words: Would you say the truth is beautiful, terrible, or something else all together? How do you respect the truth?