Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday morsel: our friend (from Cloud/Townsend)

“Truth is sometimes painful, 
but it is always our friend.” 

– from How People Grow by Henry Cloud and John Townsend


  1. I think I have to quibble with Cloud and Townsend on this one (even though I loved Boundaries!). Young children do not need the truth on everything. If their parents are divorcing because of infidelity, for example, I'd not tell them. even after they grow up telling them may not be appropriate.

    Perhaps the context for the Cloud and Townsend position would explain what they meant?

    1. I don't think the statement should be taken to mean "Everyone must always know or be told all the facts about every situation"; you're right of course, there are many things children should not be told and lots of mundane things that we shouldn't reveal out of a sense of "just trying to be honest." ("Does this dress make me look fat?" may not really be asking for a factual response!) They don't mean truth as information or facts, but more generally as REALITY: reality about ourselves, others, and God. That reality is revealed in different ways: through Scripture, through the Holy Spirit, through other people, etc., and it will never lead us astray. Having a real, truthful perspective on ourselves and God is always a positive thing that can help us grow, because if Jesus is Truth then truth is good.

    2. Oswald Chambers wrote about (or rather his wife transcribed what he preached about) disillusionment. This has helped me because I have a tendency to view life through rose colored glasses -- sometimes to my own detriment!

      I hope you don't mind a long quote today, Jeannie!

      "Disillusionment means having no more misconceptions, false impressions, and false judgments in life; it means being free from these deceptions. However, though no longer deceived, our experience of disillusionment may actually leave us cynical and overly critical in our judgment of others. But the disillusionment that comes from God brings us to the point where we see people as they really are, yet without any cynicism or any stinging and bitter criticism. Many of the things in life that inflict the greatest injury, grief, or pain, stem from the fact that we suffer from illusions. We are not true to one another as facts, seeing each other as we really are; we are only true to our misconceived ideas of one another. According to our thinking, everything is either delightful and good, or it is evil, malicious, and cowardly.

      "Refusing to be disillusioned is the cause of much of the suffering of human life. And this is how that suffering happens— if we love someone, but do not love God, we demand total perfection and righteousness from that person, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive; yet we are demanding of a human being something which he or she cannot possibly give. There is only one Being who can completely satisfy to the absolute depth of the hurting human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord is so obviously uncompromising with regard to every human relationship because He knows that every relationship that is not based on faithfulness to Himself will end in disaster. Our Lord trusted no one, and never placed His faith in people, yet He was never suspicious or bitter. Our Lord’s confidence in God, and in what God’s grace could do for anyone, was so perfect that He never despaired, never giving up hope for any person. If our trust is placed in human beings, we will end up despairing of everyone."

      Devotion for July 30

      And I agree with Tim, too.
      As grandma always says: "A fool tells all!"
      Or to quote the Message: "A fool lets it all hang out; a sage quietly mulls it over." Proverbs 29:11

    3. That's a great quote, Adriana: I love the part about illusions; it reminds me of an essay I read by Richard Rohr where he talks about how giving up our illusions may first lead to despair but then to hope.

      And no, I don't believe "The truth is our friend" can or should be interpreted as "We must tell all"!

    4. Great conversation starter! Love that!

  2. Well that's a much better way to look at it, Jeannie!

    1. Thanks, Tim! I debated about whether to use a long quote from Cloud & Townsend's book or just the single sentence that I have found so meaningful (to be honest, life-changing). I went for the latter, and a great discussion ensued. Next week's quote will be pithy (Twitteresque, if you will) and controversial. :-)


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