Lately I've become aware of how much I avoid telling 100% truth, particularly in regard to giving feedback. 80% is easy. It's the final 20% that is awkward, uncomfortable, sometimes embarrassing. If I focus on 'me' then I will simply avoid it. What if I'm wrong? What if I lose relationship? What if you don't respond well to me?
Wrong. If you HAVE relationship you will speak truth... 100%.
What I've learned (thanks Ford Taylor and Relactional leadership) is that IF I am thinking about YOU then I will speak truth. If I love YOU as I love myself (or even more if I love how Christ loved me) I will speak 100% truth.
I was talking with an ex Army Ranger. He would literally take a bullet for his team member. But when we got talking about speaking 100% truth he didn't hesitate to say there is no way he would do that. What???
=> it is EASIER to lay our physical lives down than it is to lay our emotional, relational lives down for others.
What did Jesus do? All of it. 100%. Physical and relational and emtional. He laid it all down and calls us to do the same.
Perhaps you need more convincing? Simply read Ephesians. The goal is to build one another up into the fullness of life in God - each one of us connected and contributing. Not blown around by every wind of doctrine.
How do we do that?
"...but speaking the truth in love..." Ephesians 4:15
"...putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor for we are members of one another." " Ephesians 4:25
"Stand therefore having girded your waist with truth." Ephesians 6:14
1. I need you to speak truth to me so that I have a strong inner core and am not tossed around by all sorts of weird doctrine... so that I grow up mature, connected and contributing.
2. I need to speak truth and I do it by focussing on YOU, not on how it makes me feel. I love you fearlessly so I will say something.
3. The last 20% of truth is the most uncomfortable AND the most powerful and transformative. (It is also the most profitable!)
4. Wise people heed instruction/correction/feedback. Foolish people...
5. Knowing HOW to speak truth is really helpful. Ford teaches a simple phrase:
"This may be just me and perhaps it doesn't matter... can I give you some feedback?"