Unless you’ve been under a rock the past few days, you know that the leadership in our country allegedly made some vile, racist, and elitist remarks during a meeting about immigration policy.
I refuse to repeat the alleged comments made but I wondered if anyone in that room had the courage to confront him, speak up…say something.
But then I remembered this one principle – the truth is always confrontational.
Sometimes out of our own fears, we’d rather stay silent when we see someone around us doing something that is hurtful to themselves or others.
In fear of coming off as judgmental, fear of compromising our own interests, fear of being rejected or fear of losing a relationship, we remain silent.
Silence can be just as damaging, if not worse.
We are being used as instruments in our relationships and oftentimes, you are the vessel that God wants to use to bring light and healing in another person’s life.
By speaking the truth to them in love.
I had an instance where an acquaintance was sharing some things with me that were counterproductive and unhealthy to her healing and growth as as woman. What she said she wanted and the way she acted were in complete opposition of one another.
Without disclosing what she said, I asked someone for counsel on how I should handle the situation. She said, “Maria, if you don’t tell her the truth, who will?”
I wanted to continue on in silence in fear of coming off as judgmental, but this was no longer about me but about surrendering to being used as the vessel God wants to use to initiate healing in her life.
I had one of the most transformative conversations in my life about 11 years ago when a friend confronted me with the truth. It was the summer prior to my senior year in college and I was living irresponsibly – not working, partying, smoking weed, drinking excessively and playing house with my then boyfriend.
I was struggling with low self-worth and feared not being good enough to work at any corporation after college, so instead of facing my fear, I avoided it with unhealthy extracurriculars; until someone decided to speak the truth to me with love.
That single conversation changed the trajectory of the summer. I stopped all the nonsense, secured an internship for the upcoming Fall semester and got a job to help fund my necessities as the internship was unpaid.
That internship was at Atlantic Records, which led to be hired by Atlantic and reporting to my first day of work the day after I graduated from Hofstra University!
What if that person in my life had decided not to tell me the truth? I can almost guarantee that I would not be where I am today.
Is there anyone in your life that God is leading you to speak the truth to? Is there a co-worker who is constantly putting other people under the bus or stealing ideas? Is there a boss who makes racist or inappropriate remarks? Is there a friend who is making the same bad decisions in relationships but then comes complaining to you about there being no more good men? Is there a niece who is posting overtly sexual pictures on social media looking for attention? Is there loved one drinking one too many?
I’m not telling you to tell people off or embarrass anyone. I am encouraging you to speak the truth with wisdom, discernment and love. This is not the call to tell everyone in your life your opinion about them. Nevertheless, if you see someone drowning, throw them a life vest if you’ve got it.
This has to be done with wisdom. It’s not what you say but how you say it. Eventually it will be up to them to change but at least you know that you did your part. Ask God to help you and for them to be able to receive the truth with love.
The truth hurts but the healing that comes on the other side is worth it! Times up!
Maria I. Melendez
Founder & CEO