There is always a way to be honest without being brutal. Arthur Dobrin
There are times that I am brutally honest with those closest to me. I don’t always mean to be; I just think they must know my heart well enough to know how I intend my honesty. Sometimes I am just a snot because I know I can get away with it—particularly with my husband and children.
Ultimately, though, I know that the words that I may honestly and brutally throw around can really hurt. They can sting. They can tear down confidence. They can manipulate or break trust.
I don’t want to be that person. In particular, I am guilty of this in my marriage and I am praying that God softens my heart and softens my words and gives me gentle ways to encourage and uplift my husband.
With friends and family, I constantly have “foot in mouth” syndrome…late at night lying in bed wishing I hadn’t said something or wishing I hadn’t said it a certain way.
My husband used to have a phrase he’d tell himself, “Keep your mouth shut!” We were laughing the other night and wondering if we should try to take up this motto again. So often we interject words or stories or opinions that are pointless or degrading or negative. Scripture tells us in Ephesians 4:29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” When I am not building others up according to their needs, if I am not offering Godly encouragement or exhortation or correction, then let me invoke the motto, “Sarah, keep your mouth SHUT!”