Speaking truth can be pretty uncomfortable, don’t you think?
If you say the wrong thing, someone might get offended. If people are offended, drama seems to ensue. Drama just means more work, more hurt feelings, and to sum up… truth can be uncomfortable.
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But what if it goes well? What if speaking truth brings about freedom?
It wasn’t too long ago when a former student of mine from my first youth group got in touch with me (I used to be a youth pastor). She began to share of her frustrations, her worries, and the consequences of her responsibilities on her young daughter. The more she spoke, the more God spoke to my own heart. I had a choice in that moment, do I say something and be obedient to the Lord? Or do I keep silent?
Sometimes it’s easier to keep silent, other times it’s easier to say something. This particular situation, it was kind of easier to speak up, even though I was afraid of unintentionally offending her. The words God had spoken to my heart to relay to her were words that had the potential to alleviate stress. After I spoke what God had laid on my heart to say, she walked away from our conversation with confidence, excitement, and purpose. The words God had laid on my heart to speak to her truly had made the stress vanish!
Read 2 Samuel 12
Talk about an uncomfortable conversation of truth! David had been sinning against the Lord by having an affair with Bathsheba (a married woman), murdering her husband, and then marrying Bathsheba to cover up his sin. Nathan was called by God to go and speak an uncomfortable message. Nathan had that same choice I did, to speak or not to speak? Nathan had chosen to go and speak.
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We can look at this conversation and we can focus on the hard consequences. I’m not at all distracting from the consequences of David’s sin, but what I do want to point out is that David had been found out. Do you ever notice that when you do something wrong and are found out, that it’s uncomfortable for a time, but it truly alleviates stress and brings peace where there hadn’t been any? Look at what David had done to cover up his sin. Look at all the hiding and orchestrating and manipulating he had to do. Doesn’t it sound exhausting? Nathan’s message put a stop to that and forced David to come face-to-face with God and the consequences of his actions.
Nathan’s obedience led to David’s freedom.
This month, we’ve been talking about being Hospitable with Our Words and today, I want to challenge you to be hospitable by being obedient to what the Lord lays on your heart, even if it means an uncomfortable conversation is on the horizon. I truly believe that our homes can be a sanctuary, but also, that while they’re in our home that God will use us to be His mouthpiece, bringing life, hope, healing, and restoration into our guests’ lives.
Being Hospitable with Our Words and speaking truth is not a license to be cruel to our guests. It’s not a license to treat them harshly or speak with anything other than grace and love. It’s also not a license to use God’s name to speak your own opinion into someone’s life. As representatives of God, we’re simply allowing God to use us as He pleases. Sometimes that means to bring freedom to others through our obedience to speak what He lays on our heart.
Going back to Nathan’s conversation with David, I want to point out another piece of the story. Nathan’s obedience had extended to David the invitation to step into repentance and to right his relationship with God. God had made it clear that David’s actions, motives, and intentions had not gone unnoticed, but God had also led David to a place of repentance. I feel like this action had been a welcome sight to a man we know as the “Man after God’s own heart.” David had desperately been wanting that road that led to a right relationship with God.
Do you see? We might be speaking something uncomfortable, but what are we really offering? What is God offering to others through our obedience and our words? Speaking truth is so much bigger than our small little part in God’s road to freedom! This knowledge that God has a plan for our guests and that plan is freedom kind of makes those uncomfortable conversations a bit easier.
But what if it doesn't go well?
So what if David wouldn’t have taken God up on his offer to right their relationship? What would/could Nathan had done? What happens if what we speak isn’t immediately well received and our guest (or our family member or our friend) gets offended? What is our job then?
It’s simple. Pray. Pray that their heart is open to receive the message that God wants them to hear. Pray that their eyes are open to see the freedom that God is extending. Don’t feel the need to lecture, but let God’s words be enough. Pray that His truth would root deeply within their heart.
Remember, our job is to be obedient. It’s God’s job to bring the freedom.