Some people want to talk about certain things incessantly. Others refuse to discuss certain topics. Both approaches can damage relationships. I’ve watched it happen and personally experienced it recently.
We all need space to breathe. We need the freedom peace allows, but freedom also involves, and even requires, truth. We need honesty even when it’s difficult. Honesty should always invite compassionate accountability.
I’ve watched the effects of people who refuse to ask for and face the truth of a situation. I understand such insulation might feel good to the individual and might even be essential for a short time, but what impact does it have on others? What example does it set for those who follow?
The way we seek, face, and share truth ripples through the lives of our families, friends, and even bystanders we might not notice. Especially when we claim to seek and follow truth, people notice how willing we are to search, sift, and claim it. Sweeping things under the rug creates tripping hazards for ourselves and others.
How we handle truth, including our avoidance of it, reveals our priorities of relationships. We might claim to care for others yet rationalize our refusal to face truth, claiming it is for our own or others’ benefits. We want peace for ourselves or someone else but peace isn’t the same as undisturbed comfort. Peace requires effort, humility, courage, and sacrifice.
Consider your care for others. Does your claim about your love for them and your actions contradict one another? What are you willing to sacrifice? Do you insist on your own way or invite someone else’s way, perhaps for no other reason than to reveal your abundant care for him or her?
Seek truth, not just the pieces that are convenient. Love well. So well you have the courage to ask tough questions, discern the truth, and encourage accountability. Refuse to sweep one more piece under the rug. Even if you and others have gotten good at stepping over and around the baggage for now, if you don’t deal with it, it will eventually trip you up – and others.