Who do you have in your life that loves you enough to tell you the truth?
I would like to introduce you to my buddies Max & Murphy. God has used them to remind me about the importance of truth telling in a unique and amazing way.
They are Sheepadoodle brothers. And no they are not mine but I love as if they were. They belong to good friends and I have had the joy of dog sitting for them since they were puppies. We have experienced many adventures together. I wrote about one of them here.
Max has a special gift. He watches dogs on TV. Now you may think what is so special about that, my dog watches television too?
While many dogs do recognize other dogs on TV some do not seem to notice. None of my dogs have ever given more than a passing glance at TV until I adopted Zoe and she is completely enthralled by it, watching for extended amounts of time.
But Max is like no dog I’ve ever encountered when it comes to viewing television. He recognizes when a dog appears on the screen, including cartoon dogs. And he even knows when they are there if he is in another room. He will come flying and stand staring at the screen barking and jumping.
Although it‘s entertaining Max can become more than a little enthusiastic about it. Enter Murphy. As Max jumps Murphy will stride over to him and place his front leg across his shoulders and force him back onto all fours. Then he will lay his chin on his shoulders to keep him calm. It’s as if he is saying, “Yo, bro chill, you are making a fool out of yourself.”
On one occasion as I observed this scenario unfolding the thought crossed my mind, “Murphy loves Max enough to tell him the truth.”
But what about us? We have all had those occasions when we are walking around with a piece of lettuce stuck between our teeth. Or an unfastened button. We chuckle at this but we still appreciate it when someone lets us know.
And what about some contestants on American Idol? You know the ones I mean. No one ever shared the hard truth with them that they can’t sing. In fact, because of misguided good intentions they may have encouraged them. Resulting in them going on national television and making a fool out of themselves. When the judges don’t choose them to continue, it devastates them.
These examples, while they may cause embarrassment aren’t all that significant. But what about those times that are more serious? We all have blind spots so it’s essential we have friends who love us enough to share the truth with us when we get off track no matter how unpleasant it is.
Sometimes we need a Murphy in our life and occasionally we need to be a Murphy in someone else’s life.
God’s Word has a lot to say about this subject both because it is important and because there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.
“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” – Ephesians 4:15 (NLT)
Before we set out to admonish someone we need to start with prayer, make sure our motives are pure and examine our own lives. “Why would you focus on the flaw in someone else’s life and yet fail to notice the glaring flaws of your own? How could you say to your friend, ‘Let me show you where you’re wrong,’ when you’re guilty of even more? You’re being hypercritical and a hypocrite! First acknowledge your own ‘blind spots’ and deal with them, and then you’ll be capable of dealing with the ‘blind spot’ of your friend.” – Matthew 7:3-5 (TPT)
Then we need to make sure we build a bridge that is strong enough to bear the weight of the truth. How do we build bridges? We develop strong relationships. “Let us consider how to inspire each other to greater love and to righteous deeds, not forgetting to gather as a community, as some have forgotten, but encouraging each other, especially as the day of His return approaches.” – Hebrews 10:24-25 (Voice)
As we pray and seek God’s direction we also need to check out Psalm 19:12, I Corinthians 4:14, and Matthew 18:15
Let’s be honest, speaking the truth in love to someone isn’t easy. It takes courage. What if it damages the friendship, or it hurts our friend? What if they end the friendship? That is why it is so important to do it biblically in love. Then what happens regardless of any momentary discomfort is healing and restorative. “You can trust a friend who wounds you with his honesty, but your enemy’s pretended flattery comes from insincerity.” – Proverbs 27:6 (TPT)
Besides reading and praying over these verses, I am learning to ask myself these questions when it comes to truth telling:
Who is my Murphy? Has someone had a hard conversation with me? Jesus, what are you teaching me through this difficult conversation?
Whose Murphy am I? Is there someone I need to have a conversation with? Jesus what do You want me to do?
Do you recall a time when someone was a Murphy to you? How about when you were a Murphy to someone in your life?
Be a Murphy. Speak the truth in love how and when God direct’s you.