Speaking Truth is the Baseline of Hospitality
Over the past few years, my husband and I have been on a journey. A journey that I feel like he has had to pull me through. I was needing to be pulled because my heart was so hurt and heavy. Sometimes I was even kicking and screaming because I didn’t want to walk any further down that path. Through this journey, I realized I had surrounded myself with people that loved me but didn’t love me enough to speak the truth to me. I also learned through this journey that Speaking the Truth is the Baseline of Hospitality. It is where hospitality starts. Being honest because Christ is honest with us and only in the spirit of grace, love and mercy.
You Have To Speak Truth
You have to be truthful with people. Be honest, be raw, be open. People want that. It is devastating when this doesn’t happen. It also allows you to put your opinions, judgments, and prejudices aside, and focus only on the truth.
When I learned that by speaking the truth to people, you are able to see the person and love them so deeply that I want the best for them. This was a game-changer in my life and relationships.
I honestly can say through this process I have felt freedom. I feel like the relationships I have are ones that would never have walked in my circles before. We now have deep conversations and deep love for one another. This still includes long-time friends but our friendships have shifted to be intentional and not just for fun. Friends that are of different color, from countries all over the world, friends that are divorced, friends that are single and have a live-in partner, friends that are gay, friends that are lesbians, and friends that are Hindu, Morman, etc.
Being on this journey with Gregg, our lives have become more colorful, and a deeper relationship with our Creator. Our love for others has grown so much. We seek out others to meet, we are eager to say hello, we are trying to see people and not judge their circumstances but ask Jesus how we can love them and welcome them into our lives.
Truth Leads to Honest Relationships
Honest relationships are hard. I know I am not speaking just for myself, can I get me too? Hands up in the air, I people pleaser. It is hard, but I am learning (always a work in progress) that sometimes being a people pleaser is more damaging than being honest. I listen to my friends and if I am not careful, I hear what they want and not what they are saying they need. Gift-giving is also one of my joys. I love giving. If I am not intentional, I will take my people pleaser and my gift-giver personality and shower my friend with everything that is not what they need.
Example of how Speaking Truth is the baseline of Hospitality
Let me give you an example. This may or may not be a true story…..Maybe you have a friend that use to be your “Couple” friends. A husband and wife that you hung out with. After an evening or day of hanging out with them, you would head home and talk about how the couple talked to each other without love or respect. Or you would comment on how distant they were from each other. You were seeing the signs of the titanic about to sink but you didn’t want to upset your time by hanging out with them. Mainly because you didn’t want them to not like you and think you were nosey.
After a while, your friend comes to you and tells you they are getting separated or even divorced. How would it have turned out if a year before or even 6 months before, you had a truthful conversation? Letting them know you are there for them and willing to walk through the hard times and conversations? Would it have made a difference? Who knows, but I do know it won’t haunt you that you didn’t try. Speaking truth is the baseline of hospitality and it needs to be the baseline of all friendships.
All American TV Series Exemplifies Honesty
We are watching the TV Series, All America. Gregg and I love binge-watching tv shows. It has become a way for us to hang out and since we are being honest, we can cuddle for a long time. (Physical touch is his #1) I don’t want to spoil it for you if you have not watched it yet, but it is so good! It is a Friday Night Lights with a California flair.
In this series, one of the main characters is Spencer. He is an amazing football player. But as the season progress, you see him being more of a true friend & family member. He speaks truth in love to them. There are some times in the show that Spencer carries the burden of loving his friends so much that he knows when he speaks the truth to them, relationships will change for a season. In the show, the outcome of Spenser speaking the truth to his family and friends helps them stop and evaluate what is happening. The friend’s response is up to them but in the long run, the relationship gets stronger and stronger.
I know I would love to have more “Spencer’s” in my life and be a Spencer to others.
Practical Ways of Speaking Truth
Hopefully, in this short post, you have started to see that Speaking Truth is the Baseline of Hospitality and if we can’t get to this point with our friends, it might become detrimental to your friends as well as in some cases their lives.
I have learned over the past couple of years some ways to do this. I have to be brutely honest with you, it has been a healthier and easier process with my newer friends. Truthfully, even easier with friends that don’t know my Jesus. (yet). But never the less, I have learned a few practical ways to speak the truth to my friends and have a healthy, deep, and trusting friendship.
5 Practical ways of Speaking Truth
- Start out truthful. Be honest, with people. If this is a new friendship, start it out with speaking truth as the baseline of hospitality.
- Leave the pride behind. Not the Lion King pride, your pride. Pridefulness is not good for anyone. It leads to destruction and honestly will be exhausting trying to keep it up.
People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.John Maxwell
- When approaching a tough conversation, ask your friend this question. “Hey, I have something that is really hard to talk about but I love you enough to know I need to share it with you. Are you in a good place right now to hear this hard conversation?” This will give your friend a heads up about the seriousness of the conversation and will allow them to evaluate if they are ready to receive what you have to say. If they say, not right now, then respond and let them know you understand and will ask again later. Do this reminds them that you are wanting the best for them.
- Never focus just on the problems or issues. This really needs to be for every conversation even if it is not an intentional one. Try to start the conversation with a positive about the person, transition to the issue that you need to talk about, and always leave the conversation letting your friend know how valued and they are.
- Follow up. Don’t have a hard conversation and think that fixed it all. Follow up, be present, be a friend. A true friend. If you don’t follow up, it is unspoken, but a loud message. Translated as you just wanted to fix them and not walk through the issue with them. You are not the fixer, that is not your role. Your role is to be the truthful friend that stands in the thick of things and is unwavering in the fact that you will love them no matter what.
Speaking Truth is the Baseline of Hospitality
This was such a hard post for me to write. I look over my past and I was not the friend that I know today my friends needed. Some of them, I think, would have loved for me to be a truthful friend.
All friendships don’t have to be this deep. Gregg and I have friends that we see occasionally and love hanging out with. We also have friends that live across the world that we only get to see hopefully once a year. There are other friendships that are work-related that don’t allow deep conversations. But all relationships are strengthened by truth as well as people will know you by your love.
I would absolutely love to hear your thought on this as well as your experiences. Please share with me. Leave a comment below and I can’t wait to connect.
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