A few days ago, I received a text message from across the world. My roommate is in Uganda – but found the time to send me a text saying just what I needed to hear: “You’re such a good friend!”
It wasn’t out of the blue; we had been talking about how I got the absolute privilege of baptizing one of my closest friends (which from now on I will refer to as #THEBESTTHINGEVER).
My roommate didn’t know, but a few nights before I had expressed to another friend one of those sneaky lies, those stories that we create in our heads: I feel like sometimes I can be a crappy friend. Of course my friend who I said this to shut it down, like a good friend does. But in that moment, I found myself choosing to keep believing the lie – believing that she said that because she had to – because she was sitting in my house, looking me in the eyes.
Isn’t it amazing that we find all kinds of reasons to believe our own lies – instead of choosing God’s truth?
So when my roommate said that – without me “asking” for it – she said it because she wanted to. She said it because she believes it is true. The friend who was part of #THEBESTTHINGEVER with me uses this term “truth-teller” a lot.
We all need truth-tellers.
We need our home team to be our encouragers, identity-speakers, lie-filterers.
We hear it all the time about compliments: “If you like someone’s outfit, tell them!” How much more true is this when it comes to who we are?
We need to be truth-tellers.
If you notice that someone is really patient, tell them. They might be feeling like they are at their wit’s end.
See someone being brave? Don’t let it go unspoken. They might be shaking in their soul-boots.
Did you appreciate someone sharing their good idea? Affirm them. They might be feeling dumb or small or overconfident without reason.
Think someone is hilarious? Let them know. They might feel like people think they are “too much.”
How about LOVED? I’m telling you this truth right now – you are so loved. You are loved, regardless of how you feel – because love is an identity, it is a fact. It is the TRUTH: You. are. loved.
It is so important for us to know how God sees us. We can even ask Him what He “thinks of us,” because His thoughts are truth, unlike ours. He knows us to be loved, treasured, cherished, precious, saved. We need to know His truth so that we can recognize the lies – especially when they come from inside our own heads. He defines us – so what He says about us is actually who we are.
When I reflect on my current season, I have some all-star truth-tellers surrounding me. I have people who speak the truth in love, with power.
Ephesians 4:14-15 says, “We will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
We always use this verse in regards to telling the “hard truth” – like, “Hey bro, you need to stop drinking so much; God wants a better life for you.” What if it applies to this thing we’ve been talking about too? This verse is about telling the truth. It is God’s mandate that we tell each other the truth – and that truth, more than anything, should be reminding each other who we are.
Psalm 43:3 Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
You know what Jesus tells us about the truth? It sets us FREE.
Jesus said…”If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
We get to be truth-tellers. We get to set each other free. (Like Beyonce: “I break chains all by myself.” Except not all by ourselves. Together. With God. Ok, moving on.)
Thomas Aquinas said, “As a matter of honor, one man owes it to another to manifest the truth.” Honor has been an important word to me recently (more on that later), and there is no stronger way that we honor one another than through our words.
Let people speak truth over you. My coworkers (who are also my actual, real-life friends) are really good at this. They speak characteristics over me that sometimes I struggle to believe about myself: competent, kind, capable, genuine. My parents cheer me on in a life-changing way: Dream! Hope! You CAN! My friends preach truth over me constantly: Leader. Real. Beautiful. Faithful. Friend.
Choose to be a truth-teller for others. Look for the beauty in those around you. You never know when you will speak love into existence. Sometimes we do not even know things about ourselves until someone tells us; have you ever experienced that? You can literally change someone’s life with your words.
This isn’t an option, dear friends; it is our calling. God tells us His truth – that He has saved us because He loves us – and because of that we must take His truth into the world, and set each other free.