12 September 2006
the "whole" truth and nothing but the truth??
I've got truth telling on my mind. That's not to say I want to tell the truth, necessarily. Weeks ago I confessed to my friend Julia that one of the things I struggle with in attempting to live into my identity as a Christ follower is that I'm a deceiver. It was a campfire chat, actually. And although she and I haven't talked much since then, I'm assuming that my transparency is not enough to disgard a friendship.
This weekend, around a different campfire, with other friends, we broached the subject again. In what ways do we stretch the truth (a little exaggeration helps a story dontchathink)? Are there occasions to omit facts or avoid direct answers so as to not "really" lie, but not really tell the whole truth either?
And then there's a test of any relationship, do you risk rejection and/or a separation or worse a conclusion of a friendship by addressing something in a friend? Is there an openness to face a friend who attempts to speak the truth in love but may be identifying something in your heart and/or actions that might cause you to feel defensive, or worse? Would our relationships be better served, and would we better resemble Christ if we held a posture toward our friends which might invite such conversations? And how would we communicate such a posture?
I remember the first time that someone confronted me about being sarcastic. My initial reaction wasn't stellar. I quickly assessed this person was obviously not able to handle a joke or two and that their overall humor quotient might be seriously challenged. But, as the holy spirit worked on my heart, I concluded that this person wasn't motivated to hurt me. And likely to just dismiss their lack of appreciation for humor didn't do justice either. So why would a person be so bold as to confront this in my life? Clearly the motivation was love. They knew I could do better. They viewed me as a representative of Christ and that Christ could be better seen in my life. Wow. My respect for this friend, and for their willingness to risk definitely changed my perspective. I'm still sarcastic, unfortunately. (Isn't it some type of spiritual gift?? Or something?) But I try to live into my identity more. I definitely want to be more like Christ.
Campfire chats do provoke interesting conversation. And although we didn't necessarily identify all the roots of why we might lie, or uncover why we might not fully offer information, we did, in my opinion, spur each other on toward love and good deeds. It's a piece of grace in the journey.