Does it seem odd that a 42-year old, ex-football player, sports commentator, pastor-type guy would read a blog called Mommastery?
Yes, it’s true. I was introduced to it by some of the newer, more “mommy”-type people in our congregation. Amanda, my wife Tracy, Mandy, and a few others clued me into this somewhat irreverent, out-of-the-box blog.
Before there is a motion on the floor to have my ManCard revoked, let me say that I don’t always read. But occasionally my wife or one of my church members sends one that really gets my attention, as it did today.
This post on Kind and Brave prompted me to think about “Tell it like it is” type people. I’ve run across a number of these folks during my time as a pastor in the semi-deep south. These folks are often great people, and it’s always kind of nice to know where you stand with them. But sometimes their words went a little too far.
It’s easy to excuse yourself from accountability with the “I just tell it like it is” mantra. More upper-echelon church types call this, “Speaking the truth in love.” Too often, that phrase is quoted on behalf of the truth part–or at least one person/group’s interpretation of the truth–while ignoring the “in love” part.
I’ve seen people get their feelings hurt a lot by people who just “Tell it like it is” and “Speak the truth in love”. It’s easy to tout those traits and forget to ask whether or not their words are not only true, but also kind and necessary.
As important as the truth is, we also have to consider what/when/how we speak that truth. We have to consider if sharing that truth is in any way helpful to anyone. And it bears consideration that the truth may not be the least bit helpful for the one speaking it or the one hearing it.
So, when “telling it like it is” and/or “speaking the truth in love”, may I suggest the words of today’s Mommastery on being Kind and Brave?
At its best, truth telling is a healing art – not a weapon. There is a world of difference between shameless truth telling and reckless truth telling and that difference is love. Brave AND Kind. Not Either/Or but Both/And. And when in doubt, I choose kind over brave.
You can be really right, and really brave, and do a hell of a lot of damage. But kindness, even if it’s quiet — kindness even if it’s silent — kindness . . . even if it’s you being kind to yourself in the quiet of your own home – is never, ever wasted.
Be brave and kind. But if you can only do one today — choose kind. Kind wins.