Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Honestly, People, This Is No Excuse

One blog author, after letting go with a rather unseemly phrase (Not like “you’re now going to hell” unseemly, but just “that was really juvenile” unseemly), excuses it by saying “I’m being as honest as I know how to be.”

I wonder what that means.

Is honesty really a skill we learn? If this guy keeps growing will he learn more? Can he add to this knowledge base so that he knows how to be honest in a different way?

Or is honesty a set knowledge base? Is there impossible to learn and grow?

And is honesty really an excuse to be a jerk?

Now I wouldn’t say this guy was being a jerk; he was just being juvenile.

But often, particularly in personal relationships, “as honest as I know how to be” is an excuse for “I just unloaded my own personal grievances with you in a way that really hurt you but you need to just deal with my jerkness because ‘I’m being as honest as I know how to be.’”

I think “honest as I know how to be” becomes an excuse for a lack of discernment and judgment about what to say and how to say it. It becomes an excuse for self-centered verbal barrages without consideration of grace and tact.

And I think we can do better.

I think we need to learn the grace of speech seasoned with salt. We need to learn that the tongue is like a wildfire that destroys. It can destroy lives and people, relationships and futures.

Or it can build and edify. It can dignify and honor.

Use it well. Use it honestly. Use it with discretion.

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