The Truth Hurts…
Are we afraid to tell others the truth when they may not like it?
So now have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? -Galatians 4:16, NAB
Sometimes, being truthful with our family, friends, and fellow Catholics will endanger those relationships. The truth hurts, and they may not like hearing it. They may not like hearing the truth, but you may have to tell them anyway.
When St. Paul first preached to the Galatians, they became friends, as well. They had built a relationship together. But now, he was telling them the truth – a truth they did not like to hear – and it was putting a strain on their relationship. The Galatians did not like hearing the truth, yet he told them anyway.
I am sure that you know the situation. As someone you love or care about begins going down the wrong path, do you correct them? Is it your place to do so? Telling them the truth could hurt your relationship; do you tell them anyway? It’s a difficult situation to be in.
Have you ever been in the opposite situation? Has someone corrected you and told you a truth you did not like to hear? At times like these, we must remember how it must feel to be in their situation and realize that they only have our best interest in mind. At the same time, when correcting someone, remember how it must feel to have someone judging you.
If we see someone we care about going down the wrong path, we should do our best to help them. Does this mean that we should point out their every mistake? No. For one, few would want to be close to you anymore. Secondly, your correction would lose its effectiveness. Instead, save your corrections for times when it really matters.
The truth hurts sometimes; nonetheless, it needs to be told. You may have to risk the very relationship with the person you are trying to help, but if you truly care about them, you will take the risk anyway – no matter how much it hurts.