Can A Friendship Survive Honesty?

Speaking honestly is a sign of true friendship.  Proverbs 24:26 TPT

Can a friendship survive honesty?

I’ve been considering this. I must be careful as I have friends who are reading this Interruption. For my friends, my answer is – of course. For everyone else, for my friends not reading, for you and your friends (and I’m including spouses, parents with children, and children with parents)…

…can a relationship survive honesty?

With some that I know (not you if you are my friend), but others, there is something that I wish that I could say to you – and I haven’t.

This bothers me. Have you ever thought, “Should I say something or not?”

Why can’t I be completely and totally honest with you, and why can’t you be honest with me? An author (I forget the name) said, “For most, the price of honesty is too costly.”

I have spoken my mind in the past and it was “too much” for some relationships.

A long time ago, a woman on the verge of marriage asked me what I thought, and I said that her marriage wouldn’t last. Another time I told a businessman that it was a mistake to invest in Russia. I told another friend that it was his leadership style (and not those complaining) causing the difficulty.

I haven’t talked to any of the above for years.

I also haven’t always spoken the truth. But the truth comes out anyway, often in a moment of frustration. I’ve had people say to me, “You really think that?” Others, “Why didn’t you tell me?” And “I thought you were my friend; how can you say this?”

I haven’t spoken to these for a while either.

It’s amazing that I still have any friends!

I hesitate now. Pray more. When I do speak, trying to find a palatable way, I often stay silent. Jesus said don’t cast your pearls before swine. There is a timing to the truth.

Which brings me to another point in the trade of honesty.

Sometimes it is best to keep something to yourself. I’ve counseled married couples with, “If you two would be honest, I don’t think your marriage would survive the pain and sacrifice resulting from this type of honesty. You should just accept one another.”

Some have and do quite well. A Proverb reads:

Love overlooks the mistakes of others.  Proverbs 17:9 TPT

I’m circling with my writing. I typically write with a poignancy of forthrightness, take no prisoners, and let the dust settle wherever. And I’ve lost a lot of friends.

I miss them.

I’ve learned as a pastor that some don’t want to hear the truth; they just want to blow their version of it at you. Others are too fragile, and I need to look for the right moment. Then, after speaking the truth, the comment, “Thank you, I will think about this.”

Speaking truth in love creates unity in friendship.

You can trust a friend who wounds you with his honesty.  Proverbs 27:6 TPT

Honesty has three options:

  1. Just say it
  2. Don’t say anything
  3. Say it with love at the right time

The third way is the best. The most difficult too.

But instead, we will remain strong and always sincere in our love as we express the truth.  Ephesians 4:15 TPT

Can a relationship survive honesty? Yes. It’s worth the price too!

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