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Don’t dodge truth

Carol Martindale

Don’t dodge truth

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“WE CANNOT AVOID THE TRUTH, even when it is not what we want to hear or express”.
Why is it that for so many of us it’s difficult to just speak the truth?
The truth shall set you free, they say.
So why be kept in bondage bottling up what we know to be lies, untruths, or simple deceit and dishonesty?
I know that oft-times we think of the hurt we will cause if we do come out and say what is true.
But very often it is necessary to come clean, especially when it comes to those we care about.
We lie about the big things just as much as we do about the little things that should cause little or no discomfort in saying what the true position is.
Sometimes practice makes perfect, and when we learn to speak the truth in every situation, it becomes much easier to deal with some of the more difficult and awkward scenarios that may present themselves.
Such was the case with this week’s Secrets’ Corner when this situation presented a challenge:
You have a close relative whose home is always filthy but she’s been after you to spend some time with her – but you do not want to. It has reached point where it’s becoming uncomfortable each time the issue comes up. What are you going to tell her the next time?
In this case I would opt for the truth, right up front.
Why this proves to be such a difficulty to this “close relative” is beyond me, especially since the person is family and not a friend, close or otherwise.
If you know you are not being cruel or vindictive, why not tell this person what the truth is so she would clean up her act and get herself together.
Chances are if you have noticed the filthy and untidy surroundings, others would have seen it too.
You can even find out why the house has gotten to this state and then could even offer to help the person clean up after your talk. Level and tell the person exactly why you were staying away because your relative may actually feel slighted and believe it is for some other reason.
You owe it to the person to tell them. Choosing your language and words carefully will, of course, determine how your words are received. If you choose to be harsh, then you put the person’s back against the wall and can make them feel they need to lash out and your words won’t be taken to heart.
However, if you are kind and gentle in your delivery, then I am sure your words will be received with the sincerity in which they were intended.
And why try to dodge and get around the truth of not visiting?
Say it up front. You actually are not being very kind to this person in refraining from saying the real reason you don’t like coming around.
Be brave and say it – too often we run away from telling the truth and prefer to sit back and watch those close to us go down the wrong path.
Sometimes it is to protect ourselves and avoid sticky situations. But sometimes you really have to be brave and stick your neck out and speak the truth, especially when you know there is no malice and it’s just that – the truth.
At the end of the day, the truth shall set you free. You owe it to yourself and to the person you are close to.
Here is how some other readers felt about this situation:
• “The truth as nice as possible. Clean your house!”
• “Offer to help her clean up.”
• “I would offer to clean up and maybe offer other help because the person may have a mental problem.”
• “Tell her yes, but only on the condition that we do some spring cleaning.”
• “Let her come by my house instead or go to lunch together.”
FOR?NEXT?WEEK: A woman confided in her pastor about problems with her teenage daughter. The following Sunday there was an entire sermon about family life, including the anonymous disclosure of her problems to the congregation. Should pastors so openly betray the confidence of members of their congregation? Please text your answers to 262-5986 or email [email protected]