Skip to main content

Q: "How do you get to the point where you speak the truth regardless of how offended the other party will take it?"

A viewer wrote:

"To be honest, one of the ways I deviate from God is by not saying what The Lord would in my place.  Many times, I’m silent when I should be verbally standing apart from the crowd.  This has come to my attention with greater clarity because of your videos. 

How do you go from a, How To Win Friends and Influence People, kind of approach to life to being a verbal warrior for Christ?  My whole life I’ve been agreeable....I’ve spent my life finding common ground and avoiding conflict.  

How do you get to the point where you speak the truth regardless of how offended the other party will take it?  I don’t believe The Lord ever worried about that.  I’m so amazed at how blunt and offensive he was at times and how kind and loving he was to others.  He had the ability to deliver exactly what the individual needed because he had the spiritual gift of being able to “see” their hearts.  I don’t have that now.  I assume that gift comes as you do it, otherwise you are shooting in the dark and causing more harm than good.

Because of that, I’ve had this battle going on inside me lately.  Knowing, I can’t remain silent anymore."

I have said that sometimes the same exact thing can be good or bad given the circumstance. This is one example. Speaking up and staying quiet can both be good and can both be bad.

Jesus frequently spoke up and Jesus frequently said little or nothing.[1]

Most of what most people do is wrong, as the natural man is an enemy to God, and few there be that find and walk the way out of it.

People who tend to speak out and people who tend to stay quiet are very likely doing whatever they are doing for all the wrong reasons. Those who speak out and those who stay quiet for the wrong reasons are doing so for what they get out of it. Those who speak out or stay quiet for the right reasons are doing so for what they give by doing so.

I think the vice of being outspoken for the wrong reasons is well enough understood to skip discussing it. Why might a person be outspoken for the right reasons? From where did Jesus get his courage? From love, of course. He cared about the welfare of those he dared say something to more than he cared about keeping the peace.

On the topic of keeping the peace: As I get older, I am surprised to find myself giving up hope for exceptions to the rule. I have known a lot of "nice" guys and gals, but I have yet to find any of them to be loving. No, not one. When people say they are "avoiding conflict," really what they are saying is: "I care more about what I get out of this person than what I could give to them if I were not a selfish coward." Furthermore, failing to say what needs to be said when it needs to be said is dishonest, and lying in any form always brings tremendous, unanticipated, far-reaching consequences.

If I had to choose between a sinner whose sin was self-interested outspokenness or a sinner whose sin was self-interested agreeableness, I would choose the former. At least you know when the knife is coming for you. 

Just so you know, Jesus feels the same way. A hypocrite is someone who pretends to be better than they are. Nice people pretend that they care about others, but they are really doing what they do because they care about themselves more than others. Jesus does not like fake people, and he also doesn't like cowards. Imagine how he feels about fake cowards.


[1] - There were times when he stayed quiet. One easily-recognizable example was when he refused to acknowledge the questions of Herod. There were many more, but they are not recorded. The truth is that Jesus was essentially always biting his tongue.