While were were in Austria last year, my wife went shopping with her mother and bought two expensive dresses. What did I think of them?
Somehow in my eyes the colour didn’t suit her. I told her that I’d try to get used to the colour since her mother paid the bill. It was hard.
So how do we manage those many situations where it seems easier to politely lie? How do we avoid slipping down the slope of little white lies into big fat lies?
By silence, by loving, and by being honest.
Sometimes it is best to say nothing. And if pressed to intentionally answer a question, simply state that you’re withholding your opinion.
“I’d rather not say.” Or “I can’t really say.”
Jesus had a lot to say to His disciples, but couldn’t deliver it all at once.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” (It’s in the 16th chapter of John, in verse 12).
In every situation where things might get tricky, showing genuine love for a friend pays richly when you need to deliver uncomfortable words. While George was collecting for a charity, he met an oversized woman at the door. He had barely got half-way through his speech when another idea hijacked his thoughts. “What are you doing about your weight problem, dear?”
I waited to see if he was going to retreat, but he stood there earnestly, caring deeply. She opened up about the challenges she was facing, and they parted as new friends. I don’t recommend those exact words, but my friend in his simple, bumbling way at least showed that he cared.
Billy Joel sang that honesty it’s mainly what he wants in a relationship. It’s what we all desire from those around us. But we can choose to express ourselves in a positive way.
Rather than saying, “I don’t like …” we can say, “I prefer …” We can always divert to appreciating something related.
Jesus said that He is truth. If someone wants to be a follower of Jesus, then it is somehow inconsistent for them not be consistently truthful. He advises us, “… let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’”
We still have those two dresses, which are seldom seen. But our relationship is strong, for an honest ’No’ validates the authenticity of a thumbs-up.
I still wish she’d taken me shopping.