When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit” (John 1:47 NIV).
Friend to Friend
They dissed me. Rather than including me in future discussions about the project we were working on together, one of them essentially said, “Kelly, we will take this offline and get back to you.”
I thought we were co-leaders on this project, but now I’d been demoted. The two of them were getting together to discuss everything—without me, and, once again, I was the girl on the playground with no friends. Left alone. Was I not good enough? Too much? Did I pour out too much of my heart? Too much passion?
Even though I knew I was left out, I was also sure about one other thing: I didn’t want to react impulsively; I wanted to respond wisely. So, I used a modicum of wisdom, paused, and prayed about what to do next. Should I excuse myself from the project? Should I move on because I’m bound to get hurt by these women in the future?
Finally, a meeting request came from them. At first, I excused myself from the meeting. I didn’t know what to do yet. Then, on the morning of the meeting, God broke through…with wisdom and understanding that can be gleaned through these verses in John 1:
Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.
When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit” (John 1:45-47 NIV)
I love this truth-telling that Nathanael communicated and so did Jesus!
Note here: Nathanael, didn’t hide his true feelings – he revealed them. He didn’t put on a good face and lie about Nazareth’s reputation; he voiced his truth. He didn’t try to hide the truth that Nazareth was “blah” and somewhat far off the locational radar from Jerusalem.
Nathanael honestly said, “Can anything good come from there?”
And Jesus, knowing this reply, in advance, affirmed Nathanael’s truth-telling. Jesus said to Nathanael when meeting Him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
This, my friends, is what set me free the morning of that meeting! I didn’t need to hide the truth – I needed to tell it, without being afraid to voice it. Without hiding. Without denying. Without fearing. No deceit pleases God.
It is the truth that will set me free – and you too!
Sometimes, I’ve found, it is easy to shuffle relational problems under the proverbial rug, but when we bring them to light and see them for what they are, they often take a different shape and form.
That is what happened in my case…
I got on the call and told the team leaders how I felt left out. I told them that as a leader I would like to be mutually honored. And, the result? They apologized. They didn’t even realize that they had come across that way.
It was all a misunderstanding, but I never would have known without telling my “truth”. Authenticity and transparency, coupled with humility, is the byway of relationship-transforming honesty. An honesty that pleases God.
Father, You know, sometimes my feelings get hurt. People are not always nice. Relationships can hurt. At the same time, I don’t want to live hurt. I don’t want to live as a victim. Instead, I want to trust You to raise my relationships to new life. Will You embolden me in courageous conversations? Will You give me words of life to speak? Will You help me to be honest – and loving? I need Your help and Your wisdom.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Who might you need to dialogue with truthfully and honestly so you can resolve conflict? How may God be calling you to respond wisely instead of reacting impulsively? What does it look like for you to speak the truth, in love?
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