Don’t Tell the Truth Unless (Or Until) …

I’ve chronicled my misadventures in the kitchen in detail in Coffee Stains. I’m not just a bad cook. I’m not a cook—period. (Emergency rations only).

So imagine something with me. What if I took two cups of flour and put it in the oven at 250 degrees, for 45 minutes? Would you eat the result?

Somethings just don’t do well by themselves, huh? But if you mix some milk with the flour, add some sugar and blend in some butter (notice that cooking term “blend in some butter”? Not bad, huh?), throw in a couple of eggs (without shells please) and mix it all together, you might have the start of something.

Did I miss anything? At any rate, it’s better than flour by itself.

Now you’ve forgotten the title of this Stain haven’t you? Truth is a bit like flour. When it’s mixed with the right ingredients you have to fight to stop eating cake. All by itself, it can cause some problems.

I Say What I think

I used to know a lady who would say, “I’m just a country woman. I say what I think.”

I came to the conclusion that was a wonderful attitude—if what you thought was worth saying. It her case it often wasn’t. Some people are like that: think thought, open mouth and away she goes.

Those people speak the truth as they see it, but everyone else would be better served if they put a stopper in their mouth.

Here’s some other situations, that though true, where you might want to hush.

“You are really ugly.”
“It’s rare to encounter someone more stupid than you.”

Maybe true, but certainly not the kind of language that builds us up.

And then there are those occasions when you don’t want to lie (because you are a Christian after all), but the truth might cause more trouble than it’s worth.

“Honey, what do you think about my new hairstyle?”
“I think … I think that among all the hairstyles I’ve seen, that’s really one.”
“You like my new dress?”
“Wow! That’s what I call a dress!”

Truth’s Companions

Truth is a lot like flour. It usually needs something with it.
I don’t think we have the right to speak the truth until we pair it with love (Eph. 4:15)

Jesus was full of grace and truth. (John 1:14, 17). Truth is also paired with mercy (Ps. 25:10).

We worship God “in spirit and in truth.” (John4:23)

Oh, don’t get the wrong idea. Truth liberates because Jesus is the way, the truth, the life and He sets us free John 8:32. He is always in order. That’s not what I’m talking about.

And sometimes truth is not going to make everyone happy (Gal. 4:16).
In this political season we all spend a lot of time blasting each other with our version of the truth. Oh, it’s not bad to evaluate a candidate according to what you deem important, but let’s not demonize someone who disagrees with us. He’s probably very sincere (though, disturbingly wrong J )

You got something true to say to someone? Then pray and get your own attitude right so that you can speak what is true, but in love. Truth in anger can cut and kill.

Mix in a big dose of grace and mercy because that’s what Jesus does when He looks at you and me. We’d be in bad shape if he just acted towards us in the way that our acts, attitudes and thoughts would call far.

Ain’t it the truth?

“So get rid of this “yeast.” Our true identity is flat and plain, not puffed up with the wrong kind of ingredient. The Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has already been sacrificed for the Passover meal, and we are the Unraised Bread part of the Feast. So let’s live out our part in the Feast, not as raised bread swollen with the yeast of evil, but as flat bread—simple, genuine, unpretentious.” (1 Cor. 5:7,8 The Message)


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