Looking for honesty, just ask a 5 year old. Tucker is my oldest and only nephew and Brewer is our oldest son. I think they deserve a lot of grace in their lives because they were the first born. Let’s all agree as parents that we learn on our first. Both of these fellows have given us a lot to laugh about, especially when they were young. I remember when Tucker was 5 years old and was watching his sitter, Joanne, change my niece’s diaper. As he watched intently, he looked up at Joanne and innocently, but seriously asked, “Joanne, why is Lauren’s butt in the front?” I certainly hope you can smile at this observation. Not too many years after that I remember Brewer being in an elevator with Bill’s mom and he asked her, “Gramma why is your face melting?” Or when I have leaned over to kiss Brewer and he says, “eww…your breath stinks!” Don’t you just love how children say exactly what they are thinking? I have known for a very long time, if you want an honest answer about yourself , ask a child. They will unapologetically tell you the TRUTH.
Speaking the truth in love is something we all need in our life. I am so appreciative at times when I am disheveled and someone reaches out to fix my hair or tells me I have pepper in my teeth. (I have found that pepper in the teeth comes with age too.) These are appearance flaws and friends are readily willing to help you in those areas. But what about our heart flaws?
Do you have friends that will speak the truth in love in those areas? Honesty and accountability are things we should all seek to have in our lives. I have discovered it is how we grow and get better. In Ephesians 4: 14-15 it says, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is Christ.”
We all have stories of our kids saying truthful things, some being very funny. As we become adults I wonder how many friends we have who will speak truth into our lives–meaning, uninhibited truth out of love and wanting to be honest with us without fear of losing our friendship. In the last 10 years I have come to really, really appreciate and value the saying, “True friends tell you the Truth!” There is not a truer statement. We all need to have accountability in our lives, someone who cares enough to risk the friendship to tell us a hard truth.
I took a step of faith years ago. As I studied Scripture I knew I needed to get a whole lot better and change needed to occur. I had blind spots, we all do. God led me to seek the advice of a dear and wise friend, Bebe. We spent many hours sharing and praying together. She was a true friend. She gently and kindly pointed out some areas in my life that I needed to address and open myself up to examination and change. That was the beginning of “new growth for me!” As things started to change, I sought the advice and wisdom of several other wise friends. All of these friends were gentle and shared their weaknesses and struggles with me, it encouraged me that I wasn’t on an island and the only one that had struggles. I then took it a step further to seek wisdom and advice from a recommended Christian counselor.
I cannot begin to tell you how opening my life up to trusted Christian friends and wise counsel has taken me to extreme spiritual growth. Never had I seen before how beneficial it would be to ask someone to take a close look at my life and point out the weak areas they saw and then love me through changing them.(not finished yet!!!)
I encourage you, the reader, if you feel stagnate in your life, as if your feet are in mud 2 feet deep, take a leap of faith. Pray and allow God to guide you to wise counsel, someone who will obey Proverbs 25:11, “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” And Proverbs 27: 5, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love.” It is my belief that we all can get BETTER if we take the risk to look for people to speak TRUTH into our lives. It will only make us better. I don’t buy into the saying,”Too old to change.” I believe that is a cop-out and a pride issue. True change requires God, honesty, desire,courage, accountability and encouragement. If you are seeking new growth remember, “if you do what you have always done, you will get what you’ve always gotten.” Try something different!