Now what is it exactly that is so dangerous and terrible about this mental complex? Well, the truth-tellers who catch it have several consistent characteristics:
It's the PROPHET-MARTYR SYNDROME!!! *Collective Gasp!*
Commonality #1. Truth-Tellers have a Passion for Truth-TellingThis is actually quite admirable. We have plenty too many folk in the world who are ok with working the system and maybe telling a couple little white lies. I personally have come to prefer the soul-sanding painful awkwardness of integrity because when I live faithfully in the small details I see God move lightly on my behalf. I'm not gonna trade that blessing for any temporal discount which may only be worth a Starbucks drink (Even though I do love that new caramel flan... ooh that is good stuff!)
Commonality #2. Truth-Tellers Make Others UncomfortableI'm expecting my white lie audience to silently agree. There is a myriad of responses this can engender but among the immature there arises behavior which may irritate the truth-teller in passive aggressive or outright persecutory ways. This also applies to "truth-livers" - people who live the truth so well that even their silent integrity makes others uncomfortable. Not because of any actions on their own - but their example combined with the whisperings of the Holy Spirit.
Commonality #3. Truth-Tellers Hurt TooI know it may surprise some of you and while it definitely depends on the person, truth-tellers are just as susceptible to hurt feelings as anyone else. Now hopefully the truth-teller has been speaking in love because this is a very crucial turning point:
If they've been speaking the "Truth in Love" as I've written about it my previous posts then their hurt is the justified result of obedience.
Where does the truth-teller go to ease their hurt?
Why does this matter? Well, Jeremiah got death threats. Jeremiah was thrown in the bottom of a muddy well and kept there. Jeremiah had a miserable life persecuted by the people he spoke the truth to. Why? Because they didn't want to hear it. Now I'd like to say I read up on Jeremiah and give you some classy example of my biblical-ness. But I haven't read up and I'm thumbing this out at 3 in the morning so here's a toast for procrastination. (UPDATE: I have now read Jeremiah.) Jeremiah was known as "the weeping prophet." Why? Because no one listened and Jeremiah never saw change within his lifetime. While he may have been the weeping prophet, God did not allow him to have pity parties. My theory goes like this:
Everyone loves the "I know the plans I have for you" verse but no one wants to be Jeremiah.
When we get our eyes on ourselves we think too highly of our own pain.
He wept for those he spoke to more than his own hurt.
"The Prophet-Martyr Syndrome" occurs when we as truth-tellers get our eyes off the end goal - the big prize of heaven and fulfilling God's plan for us here - with the inconveniences of being God's servant.Conversely, servanthood is freeing.
Servanthood: when you do what God tells you when He tells you to do it, the way He tells you to do it and the consequences are on Him.As obedient servants, we become the Master's responsibility. And at the end of the day we are only promised our daily bread and treasure in heaven. Will we choose to be content with that? Or will we demand our rights? And what are our rights anyways? (Quick reminder: all of us deserve hell.)
It is by grace you have been saved through faith --and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (Emphasis mine)Let us live rightly, speaking the truth in love for the healing and freedom of our fellow man. And when hearers disregard, let our eyes be fixed of Jesus "the author and finisher of our faith."
Time to go love people.