I don’t know the origin of the image, but when I first saw it, I saved it as a reminder to speak the truth.
When I speak at women’s events, I frequently touch on the topics of communication, authenticity, and friendships. During any of those conversation, something like this visual comes to mind. I call it vomiting on each other. I know it’s not a pretty image, but it’s not a pretty concept in reality either. It’s stinky and messy, both for the person who spews and the person who receives the spewing.
Yet we spew nastiness…and often excuse it by calling it “keeping it real,” “just being myself,” or “taking a stand.” If any of those things involves hatred, nastiness, attacks, and disrespect, it is not speaking the truth. We are called to speak the truth in love. That means that the truth cannot be separated from love. Sure, the truth often stings a bit. It’s uncomfortable at times because it prompts change in us. It challenges us. But the challenge isn’t just on the receiving end of truth. Speaking truth with love is challenging for the speaker, too. It takes discernment. It takes a breath to pause long enough to yield to a Spirit-check.
So, the next time you feel “called” to throw truth at someone, check your motivation. It’s not your job to convict and change someone. It’s your responsibility to handle the truth you have well. It’s your responsibility to entwine it so tightly with love that you cannot separate the two.
Breathe before you speak, post, or share.
It will keep the unwanted stench that accompanies a lack of love and lack of truth off yourself and others.