As a professional people pleaser telling someone the truth when it may initially hurt them is always something I’ve struggled with. Whether it’s something as small as how a pair of jeans look on them or something bigger like you not approving of their relationship or how they are living two different lives. Everyone knows it’s easier to pretend like it’s all okay and mind your own business, but as a Christian and foremost a loving friend, I believe you should tell your friend the truth if it’s beneficial in the long run.
Obviously, don’t tell someone the truth if they have nothing to gain from hearing it. But, when you love someone enough sometimes you need to tell them what they don’t always want to hear in order to get them back on track and to better themselves. I went through a little bit of rough patch senior year of college and I was going out and drinking too much but proclaiming to be a Christian. Going out Saturday night and then showing up to church on Sunday morning hungover wasn’t a good look. I was trying to be a light to the people in my life and also relate to them as a “normal” college student who enjoys going out all the time. Ultimately that wasn’t the right message nor the right way to do it.
Someone (actually my ex-boyfriend) at the time, called me out for proclaiming to be a follower of Christ, but not living it. He was right, and it wasn’t what I wanted to hear and especially not who I wanted to hear it from, but it was necessary and from that point on, I can say I’ve been living completely different.
Recently a good friend of mine has been struggling with her relationship with her long-distance boyfriend, she doesn’t know what to do, and whether or not they should stay together. As her friend, I could just sit there and listen and let her know that I’ll be there for her no matter what she decides, but instead, I told her she needs to break up with him. It sounds harsh, I know, but from what I’ve heard she deserves a lot better. Sometimes when you’re so deep in a relationship, you lose your common sense. I can tell she wants to end it but doesn’t have the guts. In that case, she needs her friend’s support, but she also needs someone bold enough to tell her to do it and not just pretend like either way it’ll be fine.
Sometimes it is best, to sit and listen and just offer comfort, but other times you need to stand up and say the hard thing!
They may not be happy with you in that moment, but long term they will definitely thank you. Feel free to leave a comment, if you have a story where you had to say the hard thing even though you didn’t want to.