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? 

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  1. September 20, 2016, 6:45 am   /  Reply

    Beth, such a good post. Our words and how we convey the truth can reconcile or shut down. You’re so right that we need to consider what happens AFTER we speak the truth.

    As far as respecting the truth, I strive to be honest in my dealings. Having two boys who are watching me is a big incentive to make sure I speak truth. And with them, I must remember that my words will impact them. So, in speaking truth, I also want to speak words of life. At times, a reprimand and confrontation is necessary, but if I can speak those words in a way that conveys love as well? I’d say I have spoken the truth in love.

    Thanks for giving me good food for thought this morning!

    • September 20, 2016, 12:24 pm   /  Reply

      Jeanne: You brought up a good point when you said that we talked about how your two boys are watching you in your relationships with them and with others. Yes, others are watching us in our handling of the truth. We are not always responsible to those “others,” but sometimes we are. And, of course, we are always accountable to God — not in a harsh, judging way, no … but still accountable.

  2. September 20, 2016, 7:30 am   /  Reply

    So well said, Beth. I love your writing 🙂

    • September 20, 2016, 12:25 pm   /  Reply

      Oh, thank you, Gloria. To be honest, I wrote the first sentence of this post and it turned the rest of the post in an unexpected direction. But I followed it and hoped it would resonate with others reading it. 🙂

  3. September 20, 2016, 7:44 am   /  Reply

    The truth is a porcupine.

    • September 20, 2016, 12:26 pm   /  Reply

      Andrew: Really? “The truth is a porcupine.” That’s it — and nothing more? 😉

      • September 20, 2016, 1:37 pm   /  Reply

        All that I am up to saying, dear heart, and all that needs being said.

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