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It is good to speak the truth, good to be honest.

It is better, however, to speak the truth with love; that is to be sensitive to where people are when we speak the truth because we are more interested in the effect of truth than our capacity to speak the truth. This is not fear, it is pragmatism and love because it gets at the heart of why exactly it is we are speaking the truth.

When we speak the truth with love, we attempt to frame truth in such a way that it is appealing to the target of truth.

The goal of truth is to help target of truth arrive at meaningful change in their lives.

When we speak the truth just so we can brag about our capacity for truth telling, it is our truth cred we care about the most not the truth we speak.

When a woman tells her friend who is cheating on her husband,

You know your husband really does love you and takes good care of you. Think about what your actions will do to your marriage if he finds out about your infidelity

the focus is on helping her friend be a better wife to her husband. This woman cares about her friend first and foremost not the truth she voices.

When the same woman declares

You know what, you are some dick loving bitch, sleeping all around with you know what; you do not deserve that good man you have at home

she is more interested in pegging her friend down than she is in helping her friend arrive at meaningful change in her life. More often than not such truth is a reaction to some other truth spoken by the other person, not an altruistic foray into truth.

In the first scenario, even if target of truth is upset about her friend being in her business, she will not need to forgive her friend. No wrong has been done. Advice is not injurious, it always can be rejected.

In the second scenario, the two friends will have to forgive each other if their friendship is to remain strong. The fight in itself can drive the adulterer into even more adultery as she seeks consolation from her fractured relationship.

To speak the truth in love is not to fear. It is to put the interest of the target of truth first, not our truth telling cred.

Written by

Educator and Researcher, Believer in Spirituality, Life is serious business, but we all are pilgrims so I write about important stuff with empathy and ethos

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