The wisdom of book club.

on March 28, 2007 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 8 comments by

How much truth is TOO much?

Isn’t that a genius question? A scary question, that could have uncomfortable answers. And not a one of you are surprised it came from the lovely ladies of book club.

Because a “good Christian” should probably say that no amount of truth is too much. But I don’t agree. Words are so powerful. Words, once out of your mouth, can never, NO NOT EVER, be taken back. You can receive forgiveness, and I believe full forgiveness, for something you say, but that doesn’t erase that you said it. In my personal life, I can attest that hurtful words (some true, some not) spoken to me in the last 6 months have left an imprint on me that, though I forgive, can not be covered, smothered, or chunked enough to disappear.

I think that is why it can be called “brutal honesty”- because it is that- brutal. Pain-filled. And if you just dive right in to saying whatever is on your mind, trying to sweeten it with the syrup of “I just had to tell the truth”, but you break someone’s spirit or heart in the meantime, don’t you think you could have done something different? Maybe not….. it’s just a thought…..

I’m reminded of this often with my students. I’ll say, “You are about to send me over the edge” then the Holy Spirit will quicken my heart and I’ll follow it up with, “But I love you for it”. Not because I’m a super teacher- I’m not. But because I KNOW the hurt of words spoken too quickly, out of anger and frustration, and I don’t want to wound any of my students- especially when I may be the only representation of His LOVE in their little lives. That doesn’t mean I do it right every time, or that I have never said a hurtful word (Tatum can testify to that), but I am actively pursuing a wise tongue.

And that, bringing it back full circle, is what was brought up a book club- speaking truth, even though painful, can be handled well when handled with HUMILITY. On the parts of both the speaker and the receiver. We read “The Joy Luck Club”, where these 4 sets of mothers and daughters live on the outer edges of truth- where it is right there beside them, but they are unwilling to touch it. We don’t want to be like that, either.

Oh, it is such a fine line that I slip off of all the time. I don’t want to AVOID truth in order to make everyone comfortable, but I only want to speak the truth that is necessary and bite my tongue on the things that aren’t.

Proverbs 10:19
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.

So I think our book club conclusion was that when truth is spoken WITHOUT wisdom and humility, that is too much truth.

Luckily, we have a God who humbled Himself (Philippians 2:5-11) and is perfect in wisdom (Colossians 2:2-3). We depend on Him- He does it right every time. So we are reminded that we can trust Him with all things- including the words we speak.

Book club has again made me think. PLEASE know that I write all this with the FULL knowledge that I have not grasped this concept, even a little bit. But I am praying, and seeking Him, to be a woman with wise words- true words, wisely spoken.

Psalm 19:14
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.


  1. Aaron
    posted on Mar 28, 2007 at 4:21 AM  |  reply

    1st truth is always hard

    2nd i think words kill people, wound souls, anddestroy families. i hate how people drop bombs in your life and say stuff like “thats just how i am, i speak my mind” i say to that person SHUT UP and then i punch them in the face, atleast i want to do that.

    we all suck as people (well i do atleast) and we all hurt each other and we all need Jesus to continue to sanctify/redeem us.

    i have a huge soap box with this issue i will stop writing now.

  2. jw
    posted on Mar 28, 2007 at 10:35 AM  |  reply

    It depends on what we are talking about. Is this about truth or words? Are we saying we should hold back truth or hold back our words? Sure, the Bible says our tongue starts wildfires but it does not say the same about truth.

  3. hunt1140
    posted on Mar 28, 2007 at 11:43 AM  |  reply

    Nice map. I can pull some strings and get you a dot in central Europe if you want.

    Road trip minus 30 days!

  4. Alex Russ
    posted on Mar 28, 2007 at 1:44 PM  |  reply

    annie, i love this because i so badly want to be wise in my words and i believe it is something that the Lord will continually impart to me over the years.
    when i first read your question, i thought no wayyy can we have to much truth, but i thought you meant can we have too much truth about the Word in our lives, i was like..where is she going with this?

    BUT as i continued to read i was in complete agreement. I think that if i were to have wrong thoughts about a certain person, and judged that person for a long time because of these thoughts, then later realized that i was sinning by thinking these thoughts, i wouldnt tell him/her! I would get right with the Lord and ask Him to forgive me, but there would be no apparent reason for that individual to know becuase it would hurt their feelings.

    Another thing i was thinking about was how quickly i am to justify myself, which is just speaking the FULL truth. But if i am telling the truth just to be right in the eyes of man then i am defeating the purpose of Christ, who has already justified me as blameless before the Father on the cross.

    I love what you said. I mean, Jesus must have known early on that He was God incarnate, but He held His tounge for a long time before His ministry began

  5. jenny
    posted on Mar 28, 2007 at 7:16 PM  |  reply

    You know, it’s so good that you write about this b/c I ALWAYS say the wrong thing. I wish I could naturally be one of those people who was super selective about what they said, but I’m not. It will take me DECADES to be that person, but believe me, I’m all for it. My foot doesn’t taste so good in my mouth…

  6. Annie
    posted on Mar 28, 2007 at 7:40 PM  |  reply

    Aaron- I think it is so true to think of unkind words as bombs. I like that.

    Jesse- so you come out of no where and get all philosophical on us? Goodness. Umm… I think both- there are times when we need to hold back what may be true because the timing is wrong. Just a thought…

    Jake- totally get me the hookup. The map is sad so far.

    Alex- I love you and you ARE a wise woman.

    Jenny- I’m hearing ya, sister.

  7. Aaron
    posted on Mar 29, 2007 at 7:18 PM  |  reply

    Jesse Webber comes back to the blog world? Amazing. I almost think it might be someone posing as Jesse.
    but if this is J-Web(as I named him on my phone) I miss you in this blog world.

  8. carolineb
    posted on Mar 29, 2007 at 8:44 PM  |  reply

    Truth is good. Opinions are not.

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get a sneak peek of Annie’s latest book! Click the link to download two free chapters of Let’s All Be Brave.