Honesty

Love and the Outcome

It made the top headlines. A teenage girl encouraged her friend to commit suicide. Records say she had over a thousand texts to intervene, and who knows how many more phone calls and conversations. He said he was scared and didn’t want to leave his family. Even got out of the truck before the carbon monoxide took over. But she urged him to get back in. And now she’s been called before a court of law—responsible, in part, for his death.

I wonder what the outcome would have been had she chosen to be part of the solution, rather than the problem—had she chosen to intervene, for the good. And though I can’t imagine influencing someone’s suicide attempt, I can’t help but ask how my silence in certain situations has contributed to a tragic outcome. Had I intervened—would the outcome have been different? Though I may never know, at least I’d have the peace of knowing I tried.

When it comes to something like suicide, I think we’d all agree on the importance of getting involved on behalf of a friend. But in other areas—those with less immediate consequences, we often stand quietly by, watching and wondering if things would be different if we’d just speak up. Our society is built on a faulty notion of a love that doesn’t intervene. We mistakenly believe that if someone is happy doing something—however self-destructive, the loving thing to do is to keep quiet. We fear being considered narrow-minded, even hateful, for saying something that could help.

Maybe there’s constant news of shootings and mass murders and other violence because no one was loving ENOUGH to say something when it needed to be said. If we had spoken truthfully, in love, when we saw a hint of a problem—or just had that gut feeling that something wasn’t right…maybe things would be different.

When I was a teen, I flushed a loved one’s liquor down the toilet because I saw its potential to destroy them. My actions wreaked havoc, initially. But in the end, it was a wake-up call that helped contribute to the ending of a potentially destructive addiction. It’s a decision I don’t regret, no matter how hard it was at the time. As mentioned in a past blog post, we may be misunderstood in the process. But that should never stop us from intervening for the good of those we love.

Source: Love and the Outcome

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Decaffeinated

There are those who like coffee, and those who are obsessed. My friend was among the obsessed. For her, coffee was not just one of life’s perks, it was life. Her friends and I would fuel her caffeine addiction by making sure she had her daily doses before a meltdown ensued. Why? Because we loved her, of course.

Her habit persisted until a doctor ruled her beloved beverage a detriment to her health. She had a certain condition that didn’t mix well with coffee, so it was off-limits for the time being—much to her dismay. Saying goodbye to her daily cups-o’-joe would not be easy on her. Or her friends.

Each day, she came up with her list of reasons why she needed her coffee to survive, and we had to remind her what the doctor said. It would seem so loving just to give her what would make her happy. But with her diagnosis, the caring thing to do was to be honest about the potential negative side effects.

Now, coffee is not bad for everyone, and—to the joy of caffeine lovers everywhere, doctors have more recently noted some positive effects. But at the time, for the good of our friend, as much as we wanted to shower her with gift cards to her favorite coffee shop, the loving thing to do was to help her make changes that would benefit her health.

In our closest relationships, we may come to know someone well enough that we see habits that could potentially hurt them. And it’s likely they will see the same in us. We may be tempted to keep quiet, thinking the loving thing is to let them go on doing whatever makes them happy, even if it leads to the edge of a dangerous cliff. But true love is honest. If we really love someone, we’ll speak up—not in judgment, but in gentle concern for their well-being.

“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” (Proverbs 27:6)

Source: Decaffeinated