Monday, November 9, 2009

Honest Enough

I am generally an honest person.  I believe in truth and integrity.  I am also a very private person.  I believe there’s such a thing as too much honesty or transparency. 

I remember being a young associate pastor, visiting church members in the hospital.  One thing you don’t ask a hospital patient is “how are you doing?” unless you really want to know.  I was told all about people’s surgeries in graphic detail, about infections and gasterointestinal issues and other things no one except your closest family members really want to know.  I would have settled for the answer, “I’m fine,” or “still sore” or “not so good.”  I know we are supposed to be specific in our prayers, but I could never bring myself to be that specific in the hospital room.

Another area where honesty is not the best policy, as any woman can attest to, is related to appearance.  Never tell a woman that she is ugly, fat, old, or that her new hairdo is anything but stunning.  It doesn’t matter if she’s 90 years old, 600 pounds, and bald.  Although men tend not to be as sensitive about what they look like, it still isn’t nice to share your negative opinions about anyone’s appearance.

To recap, two reasons not to be completely honest is when it’s TMI (Too Much Information) or when it’s unkind to do so.  Along both those lines, it is not required to speak everything that runs through your head.  For some reason, some people seem to lack a filter from the brain to the vocal box, and the results can be anything from embarrassing to hurtful. 

Seek the truth, but think before you speak it.  The end.

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