Do These Jeans Make Me Look Fat?
Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. Genesis 37:5
Guys, even if you’re not married, you know the answer to this question – Do these jeans make me look fat? There’s only one right answer to such a question and it has nothing to do with truth – No. Absolutely not. Now, when asked this question, you may be tempted to say something sarcastic, like – Hey, let’s not blame the jeans. The jeans aren’t the problem. But even if it’s true, for your own health and for the health of the relationship, you shouldn’t say it. Honesty is important, but some truths simply don’t need to be shared.
This was the case in today’s passage. In the story, we read about Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, and his relationship with his brothers. It wasn’t good. Because their father favored Joseph, his brothers resented him. Joseph didn’t handle it well either. One night, he had a prophetic dream, which he shared with his brothers. In the dream, all his brothers bowed down to him as Joseph ruled over them. This caused Joseph’s brothers to hate him even more. It was a prophetic dream, and it did come true. Truth wasn’t the problem. The problem was that Joseph couldn’t read the room. For the sake of his relationship with his brothers, he should have kept the dream to himself, but he couldn’t. He had to let his brothers know, which simply made things worse.
We’re supposed to be honest, but we must also seek the wisdom to know that just because something is true, that it doesn’t always need to be said. It’s not our job to point out every flaw of those around us. But it’s true! We must often avoid saying things that are cruel, even though they may be true. This takes wisdom though to get right. Sometimes the uncomfortable thing must be said. If I’m working with a young man who has a hygiene issue and doesn’t know it, a little painful truth may be the most loving thing. And sometimes the truth is simply hurtful and doesn’t need to be said – No one likes your hair that way.
In working with those who’re addicted, I often must point out terrible decisions. However, I must always seek the wisdom to speak the truth in love. I must also invest in another’s life before I can presume to speak the painful truth. Otherwise, I’m just cruel and insensitive. Daily, I must seek the wisdom to know which painful truths I should share and those which I should keep to myself. Then, if I must speak, I must do so in love.
And no, those jeans don’t make you look fat.