Monday, March 18, 2013

When the Yes Man says no.


Who among us doesn't love a nice compliment?  Words and actions that express affirmation are powerful things, and they speak to the core of who we are:
"You are right."  
"What you're doing is good." 
"You are valued." 
"You are valuable." 
Sincere praises are worth a great deal.  The trick is to seek sincerity above flattery, and learn to discern between the two - both in receiving praise and giving praise.
Sometimes, in order to keep a friendship intact, we choose to overlook the things we dislike about a person and focus on the good.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, so long as the things you overlook don't truly matter, in the grand scheme of things.  An obsession with 90s boy bands, though certainly disturbing, can be set aside without much of an issue. 
But what if you've been overlooking things that do matter?
Look, I readily admit to not being perfect.  I have moral and ethical dilemmas, just like everyone else.  If I ever behave in a manner that is inconsistent with my faith, the last thing that's going to help me is a Yes Man.  It would certainly be easy to ignore the things I do that don't jive with what scripture says, just to preserve a friendship.  After all, who wants to be the bad guy? 
It is hard to hold fellow Christians accountable for behavior inconsistent with biblical teaching, especially if that fellow Christian is a good friend you would give a great deal not to hurt.  It is a sucky situation all around. 
But sometimes you have to step out of the Yes Man shoes, take a deep breath, and prayerfully, gently, lovingly, speak Truth.  
Open rebuke is better than hidden love.
Proverbs 27:5
Know that sometimes your loving rebuke will be thrown violently back at you.  Truth cuts to the quick, straight through the blanket of false happiness and comfort that accompanies self-deception desperately attempting to ward off guilt.  Sometimes lashing out is easier than introspection and change. 
But worse than the awful feeling of being rejected for speaking Truth is the feeling of a Yes Man, ignoring the white elephant in the room to keep things pleasant and light, while the elephant is slowly crushing the life out of the person who brought it in.
Sometimes the Yes Man has to say no.
  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14


Bekah @Lemons & Snickers said...

I know I already said this but I really enjoyed reading this post, it's very well written! I'm envious that I can't write as fluid as you!

Bekah @Lemons & Snickers said...

Ps. Love the new header! ;)

Brain said...

Well thank you. It's not so much eloquence as much as not knowing when to shut up!

That header's pretty spiffy. Some cool chick made it for me. ;)

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