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).