For years I struggled between truth and lie. I lived in a real life “two truths and a lie” game about how I was feeling, about who my family was, about who I was and what I thought. My thoughts and feelings were not my own, they were translations of what I thought people wanted them to be.
At school I pretended to be a good student and have friends. At home I pretended to not have too many needs and avoided eye contact (which lead to engagement). I played alone a lot, I sought refuge with neighbors who took me in to help them with their toddlers. As a teenager I went to friend’s houses and spent as little time at home as possible.
When I finally awoke to the idea that I had independent thoughts, ideas and feelings (besides what others around me had) I didn’t know how to handle myself. Couple the emotional intelligence of a six year old with a personality that always did speak before she thought and there were many years of disaster, or word vomit as I like to call it.
For about 5 years I had no idea how to keep these newfound thoughts and opinions to myself, they would simply spew out of my mouth. Many times they were “funny, cause it’s true” but a lot of the times they were just hurtful. I didn’t mean to be hurtful but I felt entitled to my opinions and felt it was my right to share them.
I was wrong. And I am reminded of this dark period of my life, this thoughtless disregard for others, the word vomit period every time Donald Trump opens his mouth.
“I tell the truth.” he says.
I said the same thing. Only I would say, “I’m sorry you don’t like what I just said but it’s true.”
Just because it’s what I think doesn’t make it true, it makes it my opinion.
Truth is in accordance with fact or reality. Not “your reality” (like reality tv…) but actual reality, actual circumstances. Opinion is a view or judgement we make, not necessarily based in fact or reality. See the difference?
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. –Ephesians 4:11-16
When Richard Nixon declared “I am not a crook”, it was his opinion, definitely not based in reality. It was, in fact, illegal. Bill Clinton rewrote personal history when he stood up and declared that he “never had sex with that woman” or at least convinced himself of that enough to sound convincing. Friends, when we allow lies to get so twisted in our heads they become truth we are lost, we need help.
We are all allowed opinions and in all honesty, truth is even a relative thing. If there are two people in a situation, there will not be two sides, there will be three. Person A’s experience, Person B’s experience and what really happened.
Speaking the truth in love doesn’t mean people won’t get hurt, but it means combining reality and fact with the emotional intelligence that you are dealing with someone with feelings and that has a different reality than you. Whatever you have to say is valid, and it may hurt, but the way you deliver it doesn’t have to be “for their own good” like an abusive father.
I hurt a lot of people, I said a lot of mean things, and the biggest pain for me in all of this, was that the reality was I was the one crying out in pain. My voice had been masked so much that words would just spew out without ever considering the consequences.
I don’t want to get into a political debate, but I am terrified, terrified that a man like “The Donald” who spews vomit into the world and calls it truth has gotten this far in our electorate. Donald, it is not truth when it’s what you think, it’s opinion.
Speak the truth in love. And please, keep your “truth” opinions off the world stage.