“An honest answer is a sign of true friendship.” Proverbs 24:26 (TEV)
It’s much easier to remain silent when others around us are messing up, but it’s not the loving thing to do. Most people have no one in their lives that love them enough to tell them the truth, so they continue going the wrong way. Usually we know what needs to be said but fear keeps us from saying it. “An honest answer is the sign of true friendship.” Sometimes caring means confronting!
Paul writes, “If someone in your group does something wrong, you who are spiritual should go to that person and gently make him right again” (Gal 6:1 NCV). That’s what ‘spiritual’ people do! The trouble is when an issue pops up that might cause tension, it’s immediately glossed over in order to preserve peace. Mr. ‘Don’t-rock-the-boat’ jumps in and tries to smooth everyone’s ruffled feathers, the issue is never resolved and everyone lives with an underlying feeling of frustration. “No more pretense. Tell…the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other…When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself” (Eph 4:25 TM).
Now frankness is not a license to be rude and say anything you please. Thoughtless words wound people. “Never use harsh words when you correct an older man, but talk to him as if he were your father. Talk to younger men as if they were your brothers, older women as if they were your mothers, and younger women as if they were your sisters” (1Ti 5:1-2 GWT). Bottom line: whether in a marriage, a friendship, a church or a business, until we care enough to confront and resolve the underlying barriers, we’ll never grow close to each other!