Do you remember the old game show “To Tell the Truth?” There were several people pretending to be the same person, and the player had to figure out who was lying and who was telling the truth. As a kid, I loved watching it- I’m not sure if I was just watching reruns or if the show was still playing. At the end, the host would say, “Would the real ____________ please stand up?” (I don’t think Slim Shady was ever a contestant). It was a fun show.
Sometimes I feel like Christians are a like the panel of people on To Tell the Truth. We pretend to be somebody we are not. To make matters worse, we are even afraid to call each other out on it. One of the biggest hindrances to real Christian community that I have observed is a lack of willingness and courage to tell each other the truth.
I would say that one of the hardest things I life is telling the truth. I don’t think most Christians are very good at it- I know I’m not. There are so many relational problems that could be fixed if we would tell each other the truth. What if we were courageous enough make statements like this to each other…
“What you said the other day hurt me.”
“John, the way you talked to your wife yesterday was not right.”
“I think that would be a bad decision for you to make.”
“You seem to be really short with people lately.”
In community groups, I would love for people to make statements like this…
“I’m not happy with how our group is going.”
“I don’t feel like the people in our group are really becoming friends.”
“This group is only having surface level conversations.”
“I don’t feel like we are really opening up our lives to each other.”
Instead of making statements like these, we pretend like everything is OK. We smile at each other, laugh with each other and ignore the big elephant in the room. I know it’s difficult, but if we are really going to have to do better than this if we want to experience real Christian community. We just need to say it. Everyone is already thinking it. Let’s just say the hard thing to each other, get it out on the table, deal with it and move on. It’s the Christian thing to do.