March 5, 2010

Brutal Facts

Written by Boyd Bailey

Brutal Facts… “Then Joab went into the house of the king and said, “Today you have humiliated all your men, who have just saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the lives of your wives and concubines.” 2 Samuel 19:5

Brutal facts are not always pretty or inviting, but they are reality. Initially brutal news may take you back and even make you feel beat up. But take heart, it is good for bad news to travel fast. You are better off to hear negative news first, before the information becomes filtered through other perspectives, or the facts fester and become worse.

Brutal facts that are not given attention move from an inflamed infection to relational and organizational gangrene. Inevitably there follows an amputation; someone or something has to be severed. This extreme action could be avoided if the brutal facts are revealed, recognized and acted upon. Brutal facts are our friends; so do not dismiss the messenger because the message is bad. He or she is just the delivery person.

Yes, the messenger’s attitude and character may not always be stellar, but the content of their words can be extremely accurate. The wise receiver of brutal facts will extract the “chaff and keep the wheat”. Brutal facts may mean you have lost touch with those who love you the most. In your zeal to provide for them, you have failed to get to know them.

A brutal fact may relate to your finances. What is the reality of your cash situation? Come clean with your spouse and seek accountability from a trusted third party. Or, the state of your physical health may be a heart attack waiting to happen. Take care of your ‘temple’ or it will take care of you by tumbling down around you. Do you rationalize that all of your activity is for the Lord? The truth is, He can get by without any of us just fine.

So where can we find these brutal facts? Your spouse, parent or friend is a good starting point. They have a vested interest in you, so normally their perception of the facts is fairly accurate. Listen with an ear to learn, but if you become defensive or argumentative they will eventually shut down. Because they care, is why they want you to be aware.

Why not change on your on terms rather than being forced to change on another’s? This is the essence of brutal facts—there are some things that need to change. You, the work culture, and your family are always in flux, so use this as an opportunity to move from mediocrity to excellence. Embrace the brutal facts, learn from them and become better.

“Then Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says.” (2 Samuel 7a).

Who currently has concerns that I need to seriously consider? How do I need to change?

Related Readings: 2 Kings 5:10; Haggai 1:13; Romans 9:1; 3 John 1:12-13

Transformational Living
What did I learn from the Lord in today’s Bible reading? How will I respond?

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