The older I get, the more grateful I am to have truth tellers in my life. These are people who care about me enough to disagree with me, show me my blind spots, and speak honestly, especially when it’s difficult. I don’t always enjoy hearing from truth tellers, and I can’t say that I always receive criticism with the utmost grace, but without them, I’d be dead in the water.
As I was thinking about this today, I was reminded of a story from the Bible. In 2 Samuel 12, God sends Nathan to David to confront him about David’s illicit affair with Bathsheba and his unjust and shameful treatment of Uriah. Nathan tells David a parable in which a rich and powerful man behaves very unjustly towards a poor man.
There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of his meager fare, and drink from his cup, and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was loath to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared that for the guest who had come to him (2 Sam 12:1-4).
4 thoughts on “On Truth Tellers”
Good post, David. Truth tellers keep us from rationalizing our own behavior. As you note, the challenge is being able to discern truth from criticism. Even people who don’t have our own best interest in mind still may speak the truth about us, regardless of their motive.
I appreciate this very much, David. Thanks. I cherish the truth tellers in my life, who speak the truth in love.
One of the most important moments in my life was due to a friend being willing to speak truth into my life. It was in college, and a fraternity brother came into my room and told me, “You first invited me to church, but now I don’t see you living that lifestyle.”
But a good ouch, because he was willing to walk with me out of the kind of life I had been living. That truth telling led me in a completely different direction – back to Christ. Back to the Church. To Russia on a mission trip, which further changed my life and led me into ministry and mission work.
Our son in Brazil is going through some very tough times and two truth tellers on his staff came to do an intervention for one of his daughters. At first, he said they could handle it but the Lord opened his eyes and he saw the truth of what they were saying. Its been tough but these precious truth tellers are saving a family, not just one man.
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