In a world enamored by the phrase “your truth” or “my truth,” navigating the realms of truth-telling requires sensitivity, understanding, and a deep-seated reverence for genuine, universal truths. Let’s take a trip back to the ’70s – a time of wild hair, fringe outfits, and the quest for authenticity.
At 16, I embraced Christianity while in military school. Fast forward to my days at a Christian college, my world had evolved immensely. One particular incident sticks out: seeking authenticity, I confided in a fellow student about some personal matters. His response was a note directing me to Psalm 32:8-10. But all I could focus on was the implication that I might be equated with a “mule,” lacking understanding. Though it turns out I misunderstood his intent, this blunder made me question – how can we convey our truths without risking misunderstandings, or worse, causing hurt.
While emotions and personal truths can feel incredibly real, they might not always align with reality or the intent of others. The importance lies not just in speaking the truth but ensuring it’s delivered in a way that fosters understanding and connection, rather than division.
In our journey of expressing truth, sometimes we falter. Maybe you’ve strained a relationship due to a misunderstanding or a rushed judgment based on your perception of “truth.” But these experiences offer us invaluable lessons. I recall my friend’s grace despite my hasty confrontation. It pushed me to refine my communication and seek clarity before reacting.
In my recent book, Before You Hit Send: Preventing Headache and Heartache, I delve into strategies to communicate effectively. I stress that truth isn’t merely what one feels in a moment but is grounded in a deeper, universal understanding. Think about it: we don’t want architects to consider gravity as a ‘relative’ truth when constructing skyscrapers.
Controversially, some academic environments endorse the concept that all truths are relative. Yet, when confronted with deeply unsettling scenarios, even these settings tend to acknowledge inherent wrongs and rights. There’s an undeniable hypocrisy when individuals preach relativism but live by concrete beliefs.
Stephen Hicks highlights the contradiction: “On the one hand, all truth is relative; on the other hand, postmodernism tells it like it really is… Tolerance is good and dominance is bad―but when postmodernists come to power, political correctness follows.”
In essence, while the nuances of individual experiences and perspectives are valid, some truths are universal. We owe it to ourselves and those around us to discern these truths and express them with grace, understanding, and clarity. And as we traverse this path, let’s remember: it’s not just about telling the truth, but ensuring it’s heard, understood, and valued.