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WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT

WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT

I’m all about encouraging people and I love to be encouraged as well… as long as it is authentic!  I’m not necessarily a believer of the general rule of thumb:  “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”.  I get the point of it but there is a time when you should say something and it’s not always nice.

I’m a people watcher and I get frustrated with what I observe in person, on television and even on the radio.  Quite often I hear of examples where people literally lie to each other to make the other person feel good instead of just being real and telling the truth.  Yes, sometimes the truth hurts but it’s reality and I would rather find out earlier than later about the subject at hand.  Does this make me look fat?  Do these threads look good on me?  Do I look good?  Am I a good singer?  Should I do this thing?  The list is endless and I’m sure you can think of multiple examples.  I just don’t understand.  I’m not talking about something like telling a little kid he/she runs really fast with the cool shoes on.  That’s a subjective thing.

I think of the recent McDonalds commercial where the girlfriend says something about her friends boyfriend thinking Sunday’s are for football and the guy agrees internally but thinks about it for a minute and says what she wants to hear (“that guy’s a jerk”) just to be the good guy and avoid conflict.  That’s called lying and our society encourages that all too often.

Sara and I established early in our courtship that we were going to be completely honest with each other and not walk on eggshells or lie.  This ensures that when we have uncertainty we at least know that we’re going to get the most honest answer from the other instead of a warm fuzzy answer that avoids the question.  Our answers to each other aren’t always what we want to hear but it makes communication a lot easier because we don’t have to play the little games… and we’re honest to each other.

The classic:  “does this make me look fat?” line floors me.  If it does, answer yes and you shouldn’t have to worry about getting in trouble for answering truthfully.  Actually… a proactive thing would be to mention it before it’s even asked if something isn’t flattering or doesn’t work or isn’t up to the potential it could be (disclaimer - some things would only be appropriate from a spouse, family member or really good friend).  Most people want to avoid conflict but in essence make the situation worse and don’t have other people’s best interest in mind.  It’s a selfish mindset because you either don’t want to “offend” someone or you don’t want to make someone upset with you… for being honest!  Unfortunately many people want you to lie to them.  Not me!  Haircuts are the worst.  Instead of telling someone that you like their haircut and then telling all your friends they look like they got stuck in a blender, just tell them it’s not your style instead of lying to them.

I even see it with comments like:  “you did your best”, “great job”, “you’ll get them next time”…etc.  Often times we can find encouraging things to say while still being honest.  If you know someone was a slacker and did barely enough to get by followed by failure, you can’t say “you did your best”.  You shouldn’t say “great job” when you know their potential was much higher and they just did the minimum required.  You shouldn’t say, “you’ll get them next time” when you know they aren’t making a realistic effort to be competitive and thus giving them false hope.

American Idol is a good example.  The friends and family members of some of these contestants should be severely punished for the embarrassment they have caused to those singers who are completely horrible.  I know some opinions are subjective but some of these things are so obvious that it makes me cringe to think someone would be that cruel to not give you wise counsel.  It happens in homes, churches, offices, politicians, gov’t…etc and only you are accountable for your own actions and the example you set to others.  I’m not saying to go around telling everyone everything bad about them.  I’m saying to use discernment, especially when asked, and tell people the truth in love.  Occasionally be proactive and try to make this world a better place when you see things that can be better or potential to be reached.

“You can be right in the position that you hold and wrong in the position in which you hold it.”

Comments

Amen dude! Sometimes the truth hurts, but remember, "wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses"....Prov. 27:6 says don't be a butt-kisser! Oh, by the way.... does this post make my butt look big? ;)
This is so true! I would much rather ask my husband "do I look fat?" and he tell me the truth than the rest of the world look at the same outfit and think "wow, she is bustin out of those jeans." Honesty is so important. I feel like some of the people I trust the most can be honest with me. I respect their position and it gives me a different perspective in my decision process. If people always told me what I wanted to hear, I may not push harder, may have been lead down a wrong or rocky road, and I may not have walked away when I needed to.
 

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