Listening for Truth and Speaking the Truth: Why is it so hard? Part Two
By Charlene Ogu
So now we know why listening to and speaking truth is hard, how do we tackle those issue? Here are are a few suggestions of things we can keep in mind when in dialogue with someone.
In order to be in service of truth you have to listen. You either want to be right or you want to arrive at the truth. Be willing to be wrong. This will require some self awareness from you, recognise when your defences are going up and how you are reacting.
Detach. You don't need to convince everybody , or anybody for that matter. Not everyone is pursuing truth. How do you know? You can see that when there's no real listening going on. And besides it's not your job to convince people, the truth is powerful and doesn't need you to be forceful. The truth is the truth whether people believe it or not. Present it, then give room to enter into a dialogue and see the person in front of you.
It's natural and right to want to defend something you love so don't be afraid to speak truth. Let God guide you.
Your delivery may undermine the relevance of what you're saying. Yes truth will shine a light on all the lies... but it's still light. Light is always captivating and attractive. If your tone is boastful or belittling, the lie that you can talk down to people who you think are wrong may scream louder than than the truth you're trying to deliver. Always, always recognise the dignity in the other no matter who it is, leading to the next suggestion...
Respect someone enough to tell them the truth but be discerning. For example you're friend has been in this really toxic relationship and you want to tell her the truth of her dignity and worth. Do so but also be willing to help her understand it if there's a breakup, be her shoulder to cry on and support her as she mourns the relationship. Don't leave someone unsupported especially when it pertains to their esteem or identity.
Most people think they're coming from a good place. Not many people go around fighting for lies, most people are fighting for what they think is the truth. Meet them there. You're entering into a dialogue with someone who thinks they are or is actually pursuing the same thing you are, that’s a great place to start.
Put yourself in their shoes. Sometimes we put people in boxes, there are people who think rationally, do the right thing and live accordingly (like me!) then there are all the other crazy people. For the most part we're all a little crazy and mostly just human. Maybe if you had the influences, the circumstances and guidance that person had you would have made the same decision and be saying the same thing. That brings us back to privilege again, drop the arrogance and be willing to imagine what your beliefs may have been without it and be compassionate.