Why Truth with Mercy?

Since this is my first ever blog, I should set some context for you.  First, I am NOT a Biblical Scholar.  That is my husband.  If you want to read excellent Biblical exegesis based on the old languages and historical context, read his books and articles.  I am not really an expert on anything, though I have more than average knowledge of a wide variety of things:  ballet, international moving, educational fundraising, event organization – to name a few.  I will admit to having more than average knowledge of all things Bible.  After all, I have lived 28 years with an expert on the topic!  Even before I met him, though, I had already read through the Bible and attended a college that required courses on the Bible.  More recently I trained as a lay pastor (Reader) for the Church of England.

This blog, however, isn’t about scripture – Christian or otherwise.  It is simply my musings on how to live life honestly – with yourself, with others, and yes, with God (however you may perceive Him).  I may at times, refer to scripture, or even post a sermon, but that isn’t the main reason for this blog.  My goal is to entertain the reader (and myself).  If you learn something along the way, we will consider it a bonus.

The title ‘truth with mercy’ has a story of its own.  I was born in Texas, raised in Oklahoma, to ‘say what you mean and mean what you say’ and to ‘call a spade, a spade’.  Bluntness was my specialty.  I was known for saying exactly what I saw as I saw it.  (I still do whenever I can get away with it.)  However, in our first year of marriage, what became a signature argument ended with my husband yelling the words at me:  “There IS such a thing as TRUTH WITH MERCY.”  I learned quickly that he was the sensitive type.  Instead of saying, “You stink”, I learned to say very gently, “Dear, did you not have a shower today?”

Years later, one of my bosses in England asked my husband, “Does she always nag so very nicely?”  I hope hubby was proud.  He taught me well.  But I have found there is a downside to saying everything in a candy-coated way.  Our children found it very difficult to tell what exactly they were supposed to do.  When every command is given as a question, the hearer tends to think they have a choice!  This does lead to some confusion. So one of the questions I would like to pursue is:  How does one say the truth and still communicate clearly without hurting the hearer emotionally?


About Lois Loban Stuckenbruck

Trained as a Ballerina, then completed a BA in Business Adm and English Literature at Milligan College. More recently trained to be a lay pastor (Reader) in the Church of England. Wife of a Biblical Scholar, Mother of three. I'm an American who has also lived many years in England and Germany (currently Munich). I have worked as an Editorial Assistant, Systems Manager (Xerox Stars on Ethernet Network), and several positions in higher education fundraising (Alumni and Development).
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2 Responses to Why Truth with Mercy?

  1. Gayle says:

    Welcome to the world of blogging, Lois!

    Love the story of the blog’s name. I believe the question / command issue plagues many of us.

    Looking forward to enjoying your future posts.

  2. Daniel Bussell says:

    Awesome first post! Maybe hurt is unavoidable? I believe hurt should be kept to a minimum in everyday life but the truth should be unavoidable. Tone is often the most offensive to me. Someone could be saying “I Love You” in a hateful way and it would make me feel terrible! I’m looking forward to your insight on this. It’s a daily struggle.

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