Say What you Mean
~Authenticity with Others~
Communication really is key.
When we are communicating with others it is what sets the tone, the pace, the logistics, and the heart of the relationship.
How we communicate to others is the essence of our relationships.
I used to get really in my head about communication with others, boy could I really overthink a conversation or words unsaid.
I could replay scenarios and rethink through tone and delivery and try to pull out meanings that were not ever communicated verbally.
It used to put me into a tailspin.
It was not until God started stirring on my heart what my responsibilities were in communication with others.
I am responsible to tell the truth when I am communicating with others- the truth, not an exaggeration, not a guessing game, not sarcasm… but the truth.
I need to speak the truth in love- even when it may be hard to say or hear.
I have come to value and hold closely the belief that- we are not responsible for what is not being said.
As in, I am only responsible to carry, handle and deal with the actual words spoken to me and from me. I do not need to read between the lines, and I do not need to respond to passive aggressive actions.
If I am mad at someone but tell them I am fine- then it is not up to them to try and figure out that I actually am mad at them.
It is no longer time for games.
When we are in relationships with others we need to be honest and we need to be responsible for sharing honest things.
If you are upset, be upset, but be honest and share that you are.
The people you are in a relationship with are not responsible to read between the lines of what you are saying and not saying. It is not fair, and it is not right.
We are only responsible for what is being said.
I also discovered the freedom in this mindset. I feel that once we understand that we are only responsible for the actual words spoken, then we do not need to over think.
We do not need to dwell and think about all the possible layers of what was really said or what was really meant.
If we can get in the habit of being honest and truthful with our words- what freedom and less energy is spent when we communicate.
Consider this mindset- what a great way to find, build and maintain authenticity in our relationships when we say what we mean.
Do not manipulate, persuade or passively spew what is going on- be honest.
Be responsible for what you are saying- no more, no less.
Say what you mean.
We all deserve honesty, and we are not responsible for what is not said.
The Bible tells us about being truthful in our words:
- God tells us to correctly handle the truth “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
- We are not to lie. “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.” Colossians 3:9
- God detests lying. “The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.” Proverbs 12:22
- God wants us to love and do good. “For, ‘Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.’” 1 Peter 3:10-12
- Lying is detestable to God. “These six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” Proverbs 6:16-19
As we can see from God's word, He does not just dislike lying- He detests it. That is next level.
There is nothing in God's word and who He is that partners with lying. We must speak the truth.
So, what do you think our biggest struggle is when we do not say what we mean?
Is it fear of vulnerability?
Is it lack of awareness?
Is it habitual?
Is it unhealthy learned communication styles?
There are so many reasons why we do not say what we mean, but we should always try and strive to say what we mean.
In relationships, our most authentic self comes out when we are saying what we mean.
We are also creating a safe and healthy climate when we say what we mean and create a space that allows the other person to know that they can trust your words because you say what you mean, and you do not play games.
Be that safe friend today- learn and challenge yourself to always say what you mean.
What way can you start challenging yourself this week to say what you mean?