Archive for December 3rd, 2008

Speak Your Mind

speak_your_mind

What if we said what we thought?  What would it look like if we held nothing back and were completely honest about what we were thinking?  I’m not necessarily thinking along the lines of the plot to the movie, “Liar, Liar” – that deals more with telling the truth.  I’m interested more in the idea of sharing exactly what is on your mind.

I’ve been part of some very open, honest dialogues with people that have been healthy and have brought about change in how things get done.  I’ve also been involved in conversations where people have shared “no-holds barred” style and brought about a lot of hurt and grief.  I am known by most as someone who will speak my mind but I have also been referred to as “diplomatic.”  Sometimes I wonder if that is a compliment or a soft attempt to push me into a corner with my words.

At times I have been brutally honest with people.  In my interactions with teenagers I have found that there are times when blunt honesty is the best policy.  Most people don’t want to hear a watered-down version of your opinion nor do they want to feel as though you are holding back in what you are sharing.  I know that there are the times when we have to withhold information for many different reasons and when those times arise we should do so without the need for apologies.  But, most teens can spot a fake with great accuracy and so being real about life is vital to help people, especially teenagers.

Colossians 4:6 says:

 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

I keep this Scripture in mind as I speak with people.  The idea of “seasoning the words that I speak with salt,” or filling my words with grace is the filter that I use.  There are circumstances that require the hard truth, there are other times when brutal honesty would form a crushing blow to the one on the receiving end.  I have to always be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and allow for his guidance in my conversations.

How do you balance out honesty with discernment?  How much information should you share with people?  Are there times when you hold back on giving your honest opinion because it could rock the boat?