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?