I didn’t lie to you…I was just Managing Information….Vol 42
Our culture has become skilled in political correctness. We have found catch-phrases, cliché’, anecdotes and spin to insulate us from our own bad behavior…from the truth…maybe even from our sin.
I first heard the term “managing information” a number of years ago as I was counseling a disillusioned youth pastor. Mike had resigned his position because of his former senior pastor’s character issues. Mike had suspected that there were some things going on in the church. There were signs. People’s attitudes were different and the way he was being treated wasn’t right…but when he questioned the pastor, he was told everything was OK. The people were just being fickle. Well as it turned out…there was a big problem… with the senior pastor right in the middle of it. In a private meeting at Mike’s exit interview he accused the senior pastor of lying to him. The pastor looked at him and said “I never lied to you…I just managed information”
Well he certainly did manage information..he managed it ultimately to his own end. The pastor lost the church and if I recall correctly, it took the church body years to recover.
You have surmised, (I hope) that my context here is managing information so that the truth is obscured for the author’s sake and purpose…NOT for any altruistic reason whatsoever.
We have all heard, and made excuses. “I didn’t want to hurt anyone,” “What good would knowing the truth have been?” “How would the truth have helped in that situation” and on and on.
Here’s God’s standard…”Speaking the truth in love”
Sometimes we have to say hard things to family, friends, co-workers, and others. Often we agonize over the conversation we must have. And in the end, sometimes we choose not to have the conversation at all. Sadly…sometimes we manage information. We wrap a story around a kernel of truth with clever verbiage. We evade and avoid the hard questions that would expose all the truth. And we rationalize.
Here’s what I have come to realize over the years. I do not have to reconcile every offence. I can ignore it, I can forgive it, I can forget it. When I have to say hard things to people I do it quickly, I do it plainly, and I do it in love. Anything else will just create misunderstanding and possibly cause more hurt. Put the hard conversations off too long and we’re apt to find a way to manage that information to something easier to tell and easier to hear…and maybe sin in that process.
We’ve all had the experience of having a band-aid covering a cut or scrape that is healing. Sometimes the band-aid comes right off with a quick tug. Sometimes it pulls the scab off with it, and whether it bleeds again or just hurts for a second or two depends on how tough or resilient the skin is underneath the bandage.
I’m really not talking about skin here…but rather character.
Character is both taught and caught. By that I mean that our role models, typically our parents set the standards for us early on…good or bad…but then as we are involved in “life” we often observe events and situations that impress us in some way to act differently or to be different. In the Christian’s life it’s about Lordship and submission to God’s authority in our lives. It’s about listening for and to Holy Spirit’s leading. It’s about holiness.
I’ll bet there is a band-aid out there in your life somewhere that has to come off today. Maybe it’s confronting error. Maybe it’s a rebuke, correction, discipline..who knows?
Speak the truth in love.
Do it quickly…don’t wait.
Do it plainly…get to the point.
Do it in a way that honors God…in love.
Ephesians 4:15 – Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.