Honesty vs. Kindness
For those of you who know me, I’m not always direct. Okay sometimes I am, but when it comes to potentially hurting someones feelings, I don’t like doing that.
Words have power. In my world, words either build up and connect people together, or they tear people down and create distance. So if being honest means hurting someones feelings, I choose kindness first.
This approach has become a source of contention in some of my relationships and for me personally. I know that people are different than me. I am discovering that there are people who value honesty above kindness. I struggle with that. I struggle in the sense that I think they should be interdependent. Honesty without kindness is just hurtful and destructive. Kindness without honesty is useless and fake.
I believe that we as people all have a perspective or lens in which we view the world, people, and situations. I don’t believe that a truth developed by a human is absolute. I believe that God is the only source of absolute truth. So
when we share with people, because we’re just being honest, I challenge “us” to evaluate the honesty we feel we need to share. Has it been filtered by God’s perspective or coming out of our own hurt, disappointment, or fill in the blank.
For the people in my life that need me to be more direct, I will be as direct as I can be as long as my kindness is interwoven with it.
God has called me to keep my words and my emotions in check. He’s also called me to please Him before I please mankind. So I will obey. But that means y’all may not like it. And I hope you check it with Jesus first!
My first priority is to reflect Christ. As I think about that reflection in reference to this topic, I am reminded that there are times when we have to ask God to help us see our own sin. We can’t see it ourselves or maybe we have trouble acknowledging it, but the important aspect is that God handles us with honest loving kindness. He doesn’t point his almighty finger and tell us we’re wrong. He settles us in His love, He prepares our hearts in His protection, and creates a safe place in which we can be honest with Him and ourselves.
In my opinion the way God displays His love to reinforces that it is not my place to point my finger and tell someone in honesty what I think they need to fix. I need to love them whether they ask for my help or not. That love may look different depending on the level of honesty and kindness that is allowed. It will entirely depend on how well I am willing to listen to the Holy Spirit and obey.
Here is a great song from one of my favorite bands
Proof of Your Love, by For King and Country