Monday, February 13, 2012

Honesty vs Good Intentions

This is something that has been running through my mind lately.  It all really started back in June (last year) when our staff started meeting with a consulting group.  During our first time with the group the leader asked us to share everything that we are thinking.  To impress the importance of this he asked to share what he called "The last 10%".  The goal was to get everyone to be very honest so we could experience some growth in our personal lives, staff unity and see God use our church to reach the lost.

Ever since that meeting we have started to use that line around our church.  I currently meet with a great group of people who are helping to shape Life Groups around our church and we have used this line in most of our meetings.  The great thing is that this group of people is very honest and that can sometimes hurt.  In our last meeting I shared something like this with them:
"Honesty can hurt, and you may hurt me with what you say, but if you are not honest with me I will never grow into who God is asking me to be."
Here is how this can play out in real life

Most of us would prefer that everyone in life spoke to us in their good intention voice.  This is the voice that is always affirming, it is always soothing and it rarely hurts our ego.  Good intentions will never get to the last 10% because the last 10% can hurt people.  Good intentions can stroke an ego but they may never call anyone to life change because they don't want to offend people.  Good intentions make us feel good even if there is a real issue that needs to be dealt with.

Honesty is something that people share with you when they really care about you.  Honesty is what Jesus exemplified in His life as he spent time with the disciples.  He didn't sugar coat things to make them more palatable for them but just spoke the truth in love.  When we are honest with each other we can help others grow more.  Honesty says: "I love you too much to let you continue to act like this".

Honesty is difficult though but Good Intentions are also difficult.  When we use our good intentions we are careful to not say what we really feel and that can hinder growth in others.  On the contrary, when you are honest with people it can jeopardize your relationship with them and you may end up hurting their feelings.  When being honest it is imperative to understand your tone of voice, body language and facial expressions are saying more than your words are saying.  If you are aware of these areas of your life then it becomes easier for people to accept what you are saying.

The next time you have a conversation think about "The Last 10%" but before you use it make sure that everyone in the room knows the rules and are ready to hear what needs to be said.

1 comment:

Sandra said...

So good Neal! And so true! I wholeheartedly agree.