What is it in your relationships that you're pretending isn't a problem? What is it in your relationship with your children, your husband, your wife, your friends that you're saying this isn't really an issue and you keep sweeping it under the carpet? That is not the kind thing. The truth is to level with a person and say, “This isn't right.”
A survey recently discovered that the number one thing people want in a friend is honesty. A real friend will tell you when you're blowing it.
Proverbs 24:26 (TEV), "An honest answer is the sign of a true friendship."
A real friend tells you when you're making a mistake. A real friend tells you when you've got spinach in your teeth. A real friend says, "I'm not going to stand by in silence and watch you make the stupidest decision of your life. Don't do it." A real friend walks in when other people walk out. It's kind to be honest with people because it's the loving thing to tell the truth.
Sometimes we need to hear the truth even when it's painful. If you're dying with cancer and go see the doctor, what do you want him to say, "You must have surgery right now or you'll die" or "Don't worry, be happy"? You want him to tell you the truth even if it's painful. That's the kind thing to do.
Jesus understands your weaknesses so He doesn't blow you away, but He loves you more than just understanding. He'll also tell you the truth on how you can change.
Psalm 141:5 (TEV), "A good people may rebuke me in kindness." It says, "in kindness".
What does it mean to rebuke in kindness? What's the difference between critical rebuke and kind rebuke? The difference is motive. When you rebuke somebody, confronting a person, are you doing it to put them down or to build them up? Are you doing it for their benefit or your own? To condemn them or to protect them?
As parents, we have to learn how to affirm the child while correcting the behavior. There's a balance there. So you rebuke in kindness. You speak the truth in love. You don't beat around the bush, but you do it in a loving way. That's kindness. Affirm the person and correct the behavior.
Just a thought from the front porch…