I had a peculiar thing happen to me yesterday. I admit that I have gained weight over the last several months while being locked in due to COVID-19, some stress in my life, and other medical issues. Gaining weight isn’t peculiar, especially when the nation is in lockdown, what is peculiar is the lady that told me that I was putting on weight, did not offend me. Most people would have been hurt by the observation true or not, but I wasn’t even hurt. I didn’t even realize that maybe I should have been until later.
I don’t know how she avoided being offensive, but I wish I could bottle how she did that.
The world is filled with offensive speech, some of that speech we need to hear, What if, for example, I did not already know that I was gaining weight, or I did not know how dangerous being overweight can be. People around me who know the cold truth could avoid offending me, by keeping their mouths shut, but what would that do? It would cause me to die early via some illness that could have been avoided or at least delayed had I been practicing good diet and exercise habits. While there are some things in this world that none of us want to hear, many of those things we need to hear. We need to hear that there are healthier ways to live, we need to hear about the gospel, we need to hear when our behavior is hurting others. We also need to be careful when we tell these things to others. Being rude just hurts people. When we speak about subject that hurts, we while remaining truthful need to soften the blow however possible. When we feel it necessary to judge, we need to do it with as much love as possible, or we may end up hurting people, more than we are helping them.