Radical Honesty

Have I now become your enemy because I tell you the truth?

Gal 4:16

What was hidden

Have you ever experienced this? Something has been hidden from you for years, but then God puts his finger on it and it bubbles up to the surface.

At times, those things first are quite disturbing and embarrassing. Your knee-jerk reaction is to push it back down where it belongs. So you believe.

If God uses a person to put the spotlight on something, it might well be that for a while you treat this person as an enemy. But do not kill the messenger. It’s not his fault.

I like to think that I don’t react that way. I love to become a better person, and therefore react with tons of questions. I want to understand, dive deep, get rid of misconceptions. The information I just got has to become mine, even become revelation for me to change.

This reaction often is misunderstood as rebellion or at least as resistance to accept what was said. The opposite is true.

None the less, I change slowly.

Why?

Radical Honesty

I used to be radically honest. But I was not ready for the reactions I got from people. They did not like what they heard.

Have I ever been fresh or arrogant? Less than most children. I just communicated with as little words as necessary, as much to the point as possible.

Soon I was told to add some fluff. Could be, would be, and phrases like these were added to sentences.

But I did not stop there. I was not able to handle the emotions that surfaced in my counterparts. I went to far and started to lie to protect myself from the immediate reaction. I could have taken reasonable responses, but emotions?

Thus I stopped myself dead in my tracks. And for years I had to recover to at least become honest again.

And I have one area I am working through at the moment.

What to keep to myself?

For years, I communicated with a lot of words to soften the message, or held back on communication all together. Many things that were to be said never were, and many things came out so fluffy that the message was all watered down.

Many years I suppressed my thinker and my way to interact with the world, and I am not going to do that any longer.

But then, I have to learn wisdom. What do I have to keep to myself?

I just heard a podcast about authority. It likened speaking with authority with walking the talk. If somebody measures up to his own teaching, people tend to believe what the person is saying.

True.

I function differently.

I see some principle and start to teach it right away. Seeing principles helps me to understand the world. That is how I learn: I make abstractions and models that shape my world view.

I want to spare people some time and teach them the abstractions, models, and principles. In my understanding, having included them into my world view, my inner model of how the world functions, is walking the talk. Who cares about the real world? I certainly don’t.

Let me explain.

If there is a principle telling me that there still are apostles and prophets today, why would I need to know or see any of them to believe it?

Fact 1: The bible tells me that all five offices are around until we all come to the unity of faith and full maturity.
Fact 2: I – definitively a part of *all* – am not there yet.
Fact 3: The bible does not lie.

Conclusion: And therefore, they still exist. Quod erat demonstrandum.

But I have to understand that at least 75% of humanity, and probably almost 100% of Christendom, function differently.

Instead of abstracting their real world experience and building it into their mind map of the world, they usually stick to the single example, the real world manifestation, and only believe what they see, hear, experience.

Thus, I believe that I have to learn to hold back on teaching until the principles start to show up in my life. At least for some things.

 

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Categorized as Kingdom

By Ralph Rickenbach

Accompanyist | Pastor in Exile | Iconoclast — I am a Gallup certified CliftonStrengths coach and a Spiral Dynamics practitioner.