Are you brutally honest? Do you have a hard time telling others exactly how you feel, even when they are not asking for your opinion? We all know or have known someone like this. There is a fine line between being a truth-teller and giving an unsolicited opinion that is not edifying or useful. Being wise with integrity is what we should strive for in truthful speech.
>> To read all the posts in the “managing our mouths” series, click here.
The Keep Quiet Challenge – Learning How to Manage Your Mouth – Click here to learn more!
Sometimes being wise means not throwing your pearls to swine. Meaning, maybe the best thing to do is stay quiet. See, somebody had to throw pearls to swine to realize that it was useless. When we speak truth to someone once or twice, we use discernment to determine if we should continue or remain silent in prayer.
Many times Jesus just made a statement or asked a question, encouraging a person to see the truth on their own. It is what He did with the women at the well.
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” … But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
This passage lets us see the Lord’s way of bringing truth. Jesus knew exactly who the Samaritan woman really was. He knew she was an adulteress, many times over.
He could have been brutally honest with her and been in the right. He could have pointed out all her sins for everyone to see if He wanted to – or left her in her sin. Yet, he didn’t. He asked her about a husband she didn’t have then brought her to God’s truth.
Years and years … and years ago my best friend and I met the most beautiful, godly women in the world. They loved the Lord more than anyone we had ever known.
I had never heard such wisdom apart from God’s sovereign Word, than in these two lovelies. That is what I called them, my lovelies. They walked this crazy life with us through the toughest, roughest, and most stubborn of times.
I remember one of my lovelies telling us something that blew my mind.
My best friend and I were having troubles at home. See, we had grown to know the Lord and we were on fire for God. We volunteered at church, my best friend was running the women’s ministry, I was teaching the children in Sunday school; we were “making a difference for the kingdom.”
We were telling people about Jesus and getting in our Word more than we ever had before. We were doing so “good.”
There was only one thing. We couldn’t — for the life of us — understand why we were soooo “good” with other people, yet we would go home and be irritable with our husbands and have no patience with our kids. It was a constant struggle. We just KNEW it was the enemy trying to come against our home because after all, we were doing so “good.”
My best friend asks one of our lovelies this: “Lovely, how can we be so nice and good with other people, but then we come home and are not good with our families?”
Our Lovely said this: “Awwww honey… that is because you’re not really… good. No one is good, no not one.”
Mind, blown. Ooooooh! We aren’t really good. We are who we are when no one is looking. That sweet, wise truth with integrity (and no condemnation) brought us straight to our knees in repentance.
Jesus consistently challenged people with the hard truth. He asked the rich young ruler to give up what he most loved. He called out the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. Each and every word He spoke served God well and brought what listeners needed to hear in order to turn from their ways.
Are we edifying each other like that? Are we being truthful with our Christian brothers and sisters in hopes that they would repent and lay their burdens at His feet? Or are we being brutally honest with no scriptural backing or basis? Do people view us as someone who is full of integrity?
We have a looooong way to go, don’t we?
Will you pray with me?
Lord, the giver of wisdom and truth itself. Help us Lord to be wise with knowledge, and have good judgment when speaking to people and in our lives. We ask for help with integrity, that we be always honest and with a strong conviction for your ways. I pray we refrain from being harsh in our speech to others and to edify one another as to grow nearer to You. If my speech is not wise, Lord, help me to keep quiet.
Forgive us Lord for what we have made it.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!