Tonight we were reading about George Mueller with the kids. In the story, George had just shared his calling to start his first orphanage with his church and the book went on to describe the scene. Many people had questions (generally polite ones) that they asked to his face. But, there was another dialog that occurred in the back of the church. Some of the dialog was shared with him in private, but I imagine that much of it occurred behind his back.
A couple of years ago, I found myself in a very similar situation. I was invited to a gathering at which the launched a huge project were presented. It was the hope of the leaders that the group present at the meeting would lead the charge and help set the tone for the project. After the presentation, I was aghast. The idea was inspired and the plan was exciting! But logistically and mathematically, it didn’t add up.
While I was searching for the right words and the best way to ask my questions, someone else piped up and said, “well I think this is great!”
And it was over. The pace had been set.
In the months that followed, I learned a lot about honesty. Sometimes, honesty isn’t really welcome. Sometimes, we don’t really want honest feedback. Sometimes, we don’t want to know we are bad singers. Sometimes, we audition for American Idol anyway.
We have a certain moral obligation to be honest, but people are not always asking us to speak truth. Sometimes we need to give voice to the truth, and sometimes, we need to wait patiently for the truth to be swept out from under the rug and into the light of day.