by Holy Host
If you find yourself refusing to speak up when things around you are wrong or harmful or if you refuse to take honest constructive criticism when it comes your way, you end up being a participant in the destruction around you.
There are some people who like to surround themselves with yes-men.
You know what a yes-man is? A yes-man is the type of person who only tells you what you want to hear.
Do you surround yourself with “yes-men?”
Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.
When you shelter yourself from the honest insights of others you create an atmosphere that harvests relationships with yes-men only.
This never ends well.
People who do this never grow and will eventually get “yes-ed” to death – never having a true grasp on reality because no one seems to care enough or everyone is too intimidated to tell them the truth.
In the 1800’s Hans Christian Andersen wrote a short tale of great insight about two dishonest weavers claiming to be creating a new suit of invisible thread that was to be worn by the Emperor himself. The two weavers inform the Emperor that the suit is designed so that it would only look invisible to those who were not fit for their positions in life, lacking competence or just plain stupid. The two weavers even went so far as to pretend to personally dress the Emperor, miming every action of a real tailor.
You know the story… everyone, even the Emperor, pretended to see the suit even though they could not just so they would not appear to look incompetent or foolish. Ultimately it took the raw honesty of a child to yell out, “the Emperor has no clothes!”
This lovely cautionary tale predates Andersen’s writings with Spanish, Arab and Jewish versions of sorts. Why, because the concept of going with the flow or lying to get ahead has been around since the beginning of time.
Jack Zipes an American retired Professor of German at the University of Minnesota wrote about Hans Christian Andersen and “The Emperor’s New Clothes” saying it was a tale of the courage of one’s conviction and that “sight becomes insight, which in turn, prompts action.”
Essentially, if you see something wrong, speak up and change it. In other words, don’t be a yes-man!
The truth is that people gain strength by listening to the honest criticisms of others and when you refuse to listen to those who really love you enough to be honest with you, you will surely fail.
That is why gaining success is easier than keeping success.
When you’re climbing you take all the tips you can get but when you are standing on the top of the mountain no one can tell you anything unless they agree with you.
Scripture says: Proverbs 12:22 “The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.”
It is so important that you are truthful with people in life, especially the ones you love.
I’ve never understood how a true friend would rather pretend they don’t see the spinach in the other friend’s teeth, leading them to the embarrassing situation of hearing from a stranger, than stepping up and telling them, “hey, you have spinach in your teeth!”
This example may be benign but if you aren’t honest about the little things in life, you won’t be honest with the big things either.
Luke 16:10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
This all works both ways. You should be honest with those around you and you should want to surround yourself with honest people as well.
Exodus 18:21 “But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—”
It’s sad when you see someone famous obviously spiraling out of control and auguring into the ground and every hand-picked person around them just telling them how wonderful he is as they cling on for their own personal gain.
The Bible is clear when it warns you not to help the “wicked” by lying for them. Exodus 23:1 “Do not spread false reports. Do not help a wicked man by being a malicious witness.”
Telling someone the lies they want to hear while they are hurting themselves is like taking a bribe to help the wicked.
Deuteronomy 16:19-20 says: “Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you.”
Yes, the truth can hurt but, the sting of the truth lasts only a moment. However, the lies of a so-called friend can destroy you for life.