You know those people who love you that never fail to tell you the truth? I am proud to say that I have two of those people in my life.
My wife is one as well as my mentor Doug. Whenever I have a serious question about myself, my shortcomings or my own thoughts I know I can take them to these two and they will speak truth into my life.
Doug and Hilary (my wife) don't sugar coat anything. Nor do they try to "soften the blow" of the truth they speak into my life. They give it to me straight-up.
Sadly, we live in a society where "everyone is special" and no one speaks the truth. We try not to hurt peoples feelings when they ask us for advice. We try to always say "nice things".
Don't get me wrong, we need encouragement and we need to be told the good things...however sometimes we need to speak hard truth.
Hilary just read a couple lines of this post and said this true statement: "I can tell you the truth because I love you and that's the kind of relationship we have. We've built that. Oh and I love you too much not to tell you the truth."
She's hit the nail on the head...we earn this type of truth telling. We built it into our relationships.
This is true for Doug and I too. When I was his intern he did an "annual review" of me and my skills and weaknesses. This evaluation took place at Stir Crazy in the Palisades mall almost 4 years ago. Here Doug built in this truth telling by telling me I needed counseling.
You didn't read that wrong. At the tail end of my sophomore year Doug told me this statement of PURE TRUTH:
"Marvin, you have a lot of gifts and talents but you will never reach your full potential until you get some healing. You have a desire to be significant in the eyes of people, this will end up hurting you tremendously in your ministry and will cause your Senior Pastor to work extremely hard to disciple you...unless you get help. I am recommending you get some counseling to assist you in this. It is your choice and I will not force you but I am telling you that from where I sit, you need it."
This is the type of authentic community that 1 John 1:7 talks about: "walking in the light" brings fellowship with God and others. Doug (by the Holy Spirit's guidance) was shinning light into a dark cavern of my sin.
This is bringing truth to light.
A similar thing happened on Tuesday Night on into Wednesday. I was sharing some embarrassing thoughts I had about how good I am and how amazing I could be if I only got the chance with both Hilary and Doug.
You know what? They both told me the truth about my thoughts. They both were HONEST about who I am, why I think stupid stuff and how I need to stop focusing on myself and on Jesus more. "What will glorify Christ?" was Doug's main rebuttal. I had to admit that what I was thinking was glorifying to me, not Christ!
We as a Church community need more people to smack us with the Honest Truth. We need to be hit in our sinful crotches with the Truth of God! It sucks, I know but it is so worth it. I truly believe that this type of honesty can change the Church. This type of authentic living can cause people to GROW in Christ by leaps and bounds...I know it has done so for me!
I tremble to think where I would be without 1. The Counseling I went through and 2. my PSF class at Nyack College. These places are where God kicked me hard with his truth and called out a lot of change within my life.
Who smacks you with the Honest Truth? If your answer is: "No one" let me hit you with some Honest Truth: YOU NEED SOMEONE NOW!