If you search for tenderness, it isn’t hard to find
You can have the love you need to live
But if you look for truthfulness, you might just as well be blind
It always seems to be so hard to give
Honesty is such a lonely word, everyone is so untrue
Honesty is hardly ever heard, and mostly what I need from you.
Billy Joel, “Honesty”, 1978
According to the artist, truth is harder to find than love. He calls honesty a lonely word.
Which is interesting, because honesty and dishonesty don’t even exist outside of a relationship.
Why is honesty in relationships so difficult to find? Because honesty creates conflict.
And conflict is never enjoyable in a relationship.
So why would we embrace something that leads directly to conflict? Because conflict is designed to make change happen.
Honesty leads to conflict, which leads to change.
But change is painful and stressful and hard and aggravating and we don’t wanna. And sometimes it could—honestly—damage an already-fragile relationship.
To be fair, that begs the question: Could any of the fractures in the relationship you’re thinking about be a result of less-than-honest interactions?
Either way, we avoid honesty. Not that we necessarily LIE to people. We simply…evade. Or let them draw their own conclusions. Or sidestep certain subjects. Or skirt issues.
At what cost?
That’s the question today. What’s the cost of avoiding conflict by not being honest?
One answer is that we’re preventing growth. Our growth. Their growth. And growth in the relationship.
You can trust a friend who wounds you with his honesty, but your enemy’s pretended flattery comes from insincerity.
Proverbs 27:6 Passion
Honestly, today may not be the best day to address whatever situation comes to mind. Because I’m pretty sure you’ve already identified a relationship or two that could use a tune-up.
Today might be a better day to draw a line in the sand and endeavor to bring more honesty to the table whenever you interact with people.
And keep in mind there is ALWAYS a kind way to say whatever ought to be said:
A tender answer turns away rage, but a prickly reply spikes anger. The words of the wise extend knowledge, but foolish people utter nonsense. A word of encouragement heals the one who receives it, but a deceitful word breaks the spirit.
Proverbs 15:1-4 Voice
Today, honestly love somebody.