Book: Proverbs 24
“An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship.”
An honest answer demonstrates respect, concern, and love for the person so that the words are received. They honor the person by looking out for their best interest.
There are times when each one of us are called to answer a tough question asked by a friend. It is not only important what we answer but also how we answer. Giving an honest answer does not mean we do it without compassion and concern for the person. It is at this time our friend needs to be reassured of our love for them. This is demonstrated by the words we choose to use and not use in telling the truth.
Even through demonstrating “tough love” to a person it must show respect, concern and love for them. It may be hard for the person receiving the tough love and they might even fight it but down the road they will see you were looking out for them.
I have had several occasions working with people who have had a drug addiction. During those times when they are craving their next high they have begged me for money. During these times they have tried to both woo me by saying how nice I am and also get upset at me saying I do not care about them. In fact they have even yelled some pretty nasty things at me. Each time I have reassured them I respect them, am concerned about them and love them but giving them money would not help them.
I remember one of them coming to me years later to apologize for all he said and put me through during those addiction years. He mentioned over and over again that through it all he knew I cared for him and wanted only the best for him.
As you give honest answers that show love, concern and respect for the recipient remember these words that Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:15 “Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.”