I once heard it said that the greatest way to show someone love is to tell them the truth. Very simple and very profound. But not so easy to do. Well, I guess I should say that it is not so easy to do when the truth isn’t pleasant to hear. So, my question is this: Is telling someone the truth the greatest way to show them love?
There are loving truths that are very easy. My wife is an Assistant Principal at an elementary school. She works so hard to be a light and an encouragement. She loves to help educators learn and grow. She loves to motivate and to build community. Yet, as with any other job, there are times when she wonders if what she is doing makes any difference.
Well, she was recently recognized as the Assistant Principal of the year for the entire school district. This recognition went a long way to encourage her and to affirm all of her hard work and dedication. She truly felt the love. For the truth was spoken about how good she is at her job.
That is an example of an easy truth. If someone is good at what they do, it is easy to tell them the truth and show them love. But, what if someone isn’t good at what they do? Is it equally as loving to tell them the truth? This is where our very simple and very profound statement of the greatest way to show someone love is to tell them the truth, gets difficult.
Just like any other question, any other situation or any other aspect of life, one must use their faith filter in order to come up with their answer. This is where being a follower of Jesus moves past simply something that I do. Sifting every aspect of my life, every question I ask and every decision that I make, through the faith filter of being a follower of Jesus, becomes who I am.
I believe that every single person has been created by God and has been intentionally placed right here, right now. I wasn’t born in the 18th century in China, for a reason. My job, my life pursuit, is to discover that reason and to live into that reason. The best way for this pursuit to be successfully accomplished is to have a relationship with my creator. Who better to direct me in the way that I should go, then the very one who created me and placed me right here, right now?
I believe that I have the free will to make my own decisions, make up my own mind and to go my own way. I consciously make the choice to submit my life to the care and control of Jesus. Understanding this fact, I know that I have to be ever vigilant, because I can very easily stray far from my God-given purpose, my reason for being created in the first place.
I believe that one of the ways that I will stay vigilant, regarding my God-given purpose, is through the loving relationships that I form in my life. Relationships with those who will love me enough to tell me the truth, even if it is hard. Relationships with those who believe that the best thing they can do for me is to tell me the truth.
For if I am doing something at which I am not good. Not good in the sense of never will be good. No amount of training or effort will change this type of not good. I am simply not the right person to be doing whatever it is that I am not good at doing. And nobody is around who loves me enough to tell me the truth. I will be doomed to continue to do something that I was never intended to do in the first place. For if I was intended to do it, I would get better and better at it.
Thus, because of the lack of loving relationships that will tell me the truth, I will live my life never experiencing the very thing that God created me to experience in the first place. I will miss out on my God-given purpose for my life. For I will live my life doing something that I am not good at, simply because nobody loved me enough to tell me the truth. Since I never discovered the truth through loving relationships, I will never venture out to actually find that which I am truly good at doing. Which is the most tragic thing that could happen to anyone.
So, using my faith filter of being a follower of Jesus, I believe the saying is true. Telling the truth, even if the truth isn’t easy to tell, is the greatest way to show love to anyone. For none of us wants anyone that we love to miss out on their God-given purpose for their life.