I don’t know anybody who likes going to hospital or visiting the dentist. The only time that we are really keen to go is when we are in pain.
Personally, I hate needles. It’s completely irrational, as at 6’4” and 250lbs, how could I be worried about such a small object? Yet the fear of needles has once resulted in me ending up on the doctor’s floor. As I write this, I am preparing for a visit to hospital for a number of routine tests, and it is very much on my mind.
The point I want to make is that sometimes unpleasant things are very necessary and, if we avoid them, they can become even more unpleasant. I know somebody who rarely visited the doctor, even for routine checks, and it was only when prostate cancer got to an advanced stage that the disease was diagnosed. Sadly, despite being treatable, it was too late by then.
There are some unpleasant and difficult things we have to do in life but, if we try to avoid them, ultimately they become more unpleasant and more difficult. The scripture encourages us in Ephesians 4 that we grow more like Christ if we ‘speak the truth in love’. This can be difficult as we do not wish to offend people and so find ourselves avoiding the subject with the net result of the problem getting worse.
No problem is solved by leaving it unaddressed. You wouldn’t think of applying a dressing on skin cancer; you need to deal with it. You need to cut it out or risk something far worse.
I wonder, what are the ‘no go’ areas in your life? The things you are not willing to talk about or deal with? The things in others that you silently ignore whilst the animosity grows? You are not doing your friends or yourself any favours by not dealing with these issues.
Jesus never held back in telling the truth. He told us, ‘you will know the truth and the truth will set you free’ (John 8:32). He Himself was the truth. Remember the story of the rich young ruler: Jesus didn’t sweeten his answer and neither did He concern himself that the young man left extremely sorrowful. He told the truth without fear or favour. He once said to Peter, ‘get behind me satan, you are an offense to me’ (Matt 16:23). Our fear is that by telling the truth we may lose a friend, and yet Peter not only followed Jesus, he was willing to lay down his life for him. You can tell the truth, as hard as it may be, provided that the person knows you are doing it in love.
Like visiting the doctor or the dentist, are there things you know you should do but are putting off? I suggest you prayerfully and tactfully consider whether now is the right time to make the decision to shine the light of the truth on the situation.
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