How to Tell the Truth Without Being Mean

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When it comes to telling the truth where would you put yourself on a scale of 1 to 10?

1        2        3        4        5        6        7        8        9        10

Mark Twain is famous for saying,
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

July 7th is Tell the Truth Day

The challenge . . . tell the truth.
All day.
No exceptions.

I’m curious.

Will you do it, or are “little white lies” just part of life?
Will you be able to go to work and have lunch with friends,
or would it be a good idea for you to stay in bed all day?

I believe in telling the truth.
I have zero patience with lies.
So much so that I’m challenging myself on things like . . .
exaggeration and failing to check my facts before sharing.

There are six things the Lord hates— no, seven things he detests:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent,
a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong,
a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.
Proverbs 6:16–19

I read several articles about Tell the Truth Day and most of them advocated
telling the truth in a shoot from the hip, no-holds barred, let them have it way.

I can’t do that.

I hate the phrase “brutal honesty,” because I believe cruelty when telling the truth is
unnecessary, inappropriate, and just plain mean.

Truth with kindness calls on us to carefully choose our words.
It may require us to keep our opinions to ourselves.
It may compel us to ask more questions and listen more carefully.
But telling the truth with love is always best.
It puts love in it’s true “greatest of these” place.

Do you wonder how people justify painful words as simply telling the truth. Here are tips for telling the truth without being mean.

How to Tell the Truth Without Being Mean

1. Truth is an essential part of healthy relationships.
2. Lying is selfish. Always. We lie to ourselves when we believe otherwise.
3. Pray to make truth part of your relationships.
4. Choose words wisely and be intentionally kind.
5. Think about your body language and the tone of your voice.
6. Make it a personal rule to tell the truth with kindness.
7. Admit when you’re wrong and ask for forgiveness.
8. Let your “yes” be yes, and your “no” be no. (James 5:12)
(Keep it simple and kind.)

Do you wonder how people justify painful words as simply telling the truth. Here are tips for telling the truth without being mean.

Truthfulness is kindness. 

[Tweet ““Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.” ~ Warren Wiersbe””]

Go out there and tell the truth today . . . and everyday.
But do it with kindness and love.

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4 thoughts on “How to Tell the Truth Without Being Mean

  1. I had a college professor who assigned us (at different times) to a Day of Truth and a Day of Silence. Sadly, I found it easier to be quiet than truthful. But I loved how you cushion the truth with grace. Because, above all, I want to reflect grace. Thank you for linking with Unforced Rhythms.

    1. Hi Beth, Your college professor sounds like a very wise man. Yesterday I ran into a rather famous Christian teacher while I was out shopping. I don’t tend to agree with the person’s theology, so after greeting them . . . I simply said, “You are a blessing to so many.” It is the truth and it was kind. It takes time to stop and think before speaking and I fail more often than I’d like to admit, but it is my goal.

  2. I love the quote at the end. It’s so true!
    I think it helps when we have others’ best interests in mind. If we tell the truth out of judgement or to get someone to change for our benefit, it will not come out nicely. However, if we’re doing it for their good, it will often come out more nicely.

    1. Thank you Shannon. Wiersbe’s words are full of wisdom. I agree with you . . . as with everything love makes it possible for us to communicate with kindness. Loving others and caring about how our words will be received changes how we speak and improves our relationships.

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