People may wonder about many different things when it comes to my personality; bluntness is not one of them. I value diplomacy and strive to make sure my words and methods of communication are full of grace. I do recognize that often I am extremely blunt and to the point. I struggle with this and then reflect on people that I admire.
The Bible character Paul is a great hero. He lived life to the full. He recognized his mistakes and stepped out in a new direction trusting God implicitly. Paul was also a blunt kind of guy. His words:
“So, my dear friends, don’t take my rather bold and blunt language as criticism. It’s not criticism. I’m simply underlining how very much I need your help in carrying out this high focused assignment God gave me, this priestly and gospel work of serving the spiritual needs of the non-Jewish outsiders so they can be presented as an acceptable offering to God, make whole and holy by God’s Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15.15,16)
I read and I recognize a key difference in my aggressiveness with Paul’s approach. My focus continues to be on getting the job done, achieving the goals set out before me, and realizing my dreams. Paul’s attention is totally on following the path God laid out for him in serving outsiders. The contrast is plain and stark. While I approach things in complex, mutually beneficial, and systematic ways, Paul’s method is simple, direct, focused, and always external.
It is very easy to forget what is at stake, our very lives! While my approach is effective, Paul’s approach is healing and nurturing. While my life is busy and complicated, his carries times of deep reflection, time alone, and simple agendas.
Bluntness has a critical role in special situations. When lives are at stake there are times when being direct is the option of choice. The key question lies within the fit to you mission and mine.
God wants to make us whole. Saying yes is the first step towards getting the most out of life.