Speaking the truth... even when it's hard

Monday, July 20, 2015


I have always been a people pleaser. I have never been able to handle being told I have done something wrong, being embarrassed or knowing that someone is mad at me. I can remember when I was around 7 or 8, my family was over some friend's house for dinner. I touched their t.v. nob and my dad yelled at me in front of everyone. He apologized to me for yelling at me but I was hysterical. I could not be consoled. He had to take me outside and walk me around until I could calm down. My children are the same way.

Still today I want people to like me. I get a sinking feeling inside my chest when I know someone doesn't like me. I have always been the friend who tries to tell you what you want to hear. I listen more than put my two cents in and empathize as much as I am able. But as I have grown in my relationship with the Lord and my friends I have really tried to speak the truth...in love. I might not always say the right thing the right way but I am tired of trying to please everyone, because I can't. It hurts too much when I try so hard to do everything right and still do or say something wrong to offend someone. It is impossible to be perfect. Only one walked on this earth perfect and blameless and he still was mocked, beaten, rejected and scorned.

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. Proverbs 27:5-6

My husband is good at always telling me the truth exactly when I don't want to hear it. I know of course that he is right, but still I tend to get defensive. After I have had time to think and clear my head I am always so thankful for his wisdom and insight. He loves me or else he would not tell me what I don't like to hear. I have learned a lot from him.

I tried to speak the truth into someone's life recently. They didn't take it well. I might not have said it the right way but I know my desire was to speak truth into their life and not tell them what they wanted to hear. The words I heard back... hurt. I bemoaned what I had said at first and apologized. This is why I have always steered clear of saying what I felt was true, because it's hard. It's hard to have people you love reject you and think badly of you. It's hard to be the bad guy. It's hard to walk this path to calvary, but it is the only way.

Are you afraid of speaking the truth because of the consequences? I know I still am but I would feel worse if I didn't. If we don't speak the truth...who will?

"Instead speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ." Ephesians 4:15 NIV

I don't want to stay that little girl afraid to do anything wrong or have anyone mad at me. I want to fear the Lord, speak the truth in love and grow and mature...becoming more like Christ.

Linking up with these link parties.


20 comments:

  1. Good for you for trying to unlearn the bad habit of being a people pleaser. I think this is a common problem among Christian women - that if you aren't always trying to make people happy, you're somehow not acting Christ-like. Such an unfair burden!

    Your quote from Ephesians holds an important nugget: "Instead, speaking the truth IN LOVE..." Perhaps part of your struggle is in not pausing to think of a way to speak your truth in a way that is loving? Another common problem with some Christians is sounding too judgmental or preachy or condemning. If you can, rehearse what you want to say ahead of time and change your wording or tone to one that is more loving/kind?

    Best of luck to you on this journey!

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  2. Thank you for sharing your heart, Rebekah. It's hard to find the balance, isn't it? To be loving and speak the truth takes courage. I've often been on the other end of the spectrum - speaking the truth, but not in love; more with a desire to "zing" the other person. Over the years as I've grown in the Lord, I've learned to have more compassion and to speak the truth with a heart that desires God's best for the other person and for that to be my motivation. I still struggle sometimes, but I always pray for the other person to hear and remember what God wants them to hear and remember and then do my best to trust that He will answer that prayer and work in their heart according to His purposes and plans, not mine.

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  3. Yes, it is hard! But I know God will give us his words and his love as we desire to do his will.

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  4. I can definitely relate to what you are saying - one thing my friend told me is that "sometimes, we aren't the person meant to teach them that lesson". Yes, we want to, but when it doesn't go well, then we can simply let it go and pray that someone else is able to reach them and soften their heart.

    Thank you for linking up to Tuesday Talk!!

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  5. Oh, this is an area that we all can grow in. I believe that as we depend on the Lord our courage will grow. I like the title of the link-up, Grace & Truth. Thanks for sharing your heart. Have a blessed weekend!

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  6. Until I read this post, I didn't think of myself as a people pleaser. My rationale - If someone asks me to do something and I honestly can't do it because of scheduling, time constraints or my heart isn't in it, I don't have a problem saying no. I usually will confront my husband or children, but that's where my non people pleasing abilities end...

    I was very similar to you as a child, not wanting anyone to think badly of me. After all I was Miss Goody Two Shoes! lol And where a friend is concerned, I am less apt to speak truth to them, but would rather avoid the confrontation because of the possible consequences.

    The verse you shared in Ephesians, I read as if for the very first time! When we speak the truth in love, we are putting on the mind of Christ, emulating His goodness and love.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Wow! I am so glad that God gave you a revelation through his word! I know I avoid confrontations at all cost but I am so thankful when God confronts me with my sin and I want to make sure that I am willing to speak the truth to those who have asked me to...in love. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

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  7. I'm right with you. Growing in Christ is the only way to go. Thanks, neighbor. Blessings upon blessings!

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  8. This is probably one of the most difficult parts of being in relationship. We naturally want to affirm people rather than risk a rebuff, but it's not loving to let someone walk right off a cliff. I think that's why from our side of the fence, we have to be intentional about forming open relationships with at least one or 2 people wherein we give them permission to speak truth... and then when they do, choose to lower our defenses and truly listen to what they say. thanks for sharing your story!

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    1. It is! Listening to the truth and speaking it are never easy but oh so good for our souls!

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  9. I can so relate! Just recently there was something like this in my life where I needed to speak the truth. The fallout was/is painful but I know the right thing was done. I feel peace about that.

    SO glad I clicked on your links from the linkup! I LOVE YOUR BLOG!

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    1. So glad you came by!! I can't wait to check out your blog:)

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  10. Great post, Rebekah! Sometimes the truth is ugly, but it is always needed. I always say I would rather hear the ugly truth than a beautiful lie. I think true friendship is having an understanding that even if I tell you something that you may not want to hear, know that I only say it because I love you and want what's best for your life and the same if a friend is doing that for me. Usually, even if someone takes offense it's not because of what you said, but simply because that weren't ready to hear or embrace the truth in which you spoke. Anyways, grateful to visit with you today! Peace and many blessings to you, Love! :-)

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    1. So true! I am learning a lot about what it means to listen to the Holy Spirit and yet have grace and patience for those who just may not be ready to hear the truth!

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  11. Taking our cues from God, speaking truth in love, putting our fear aside to serve the best interest of one who may not be willing to listen -- these are all a hard obedience, but God is gracious. Thank you for sharing your own experience with this to encourage our hearts.

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    1. Thanks Michele! I always hope that God can use the things that he is teaching me to encourage and edify others!

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