She responded, “Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.”
The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, “Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?”
She again replied, “Why yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.” The defense attorney nearly died.
At this point, the judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said, “If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you both to the electric chair...!”
Since the days of Aeschylus (“simple are the words of truth”) and Euripides (“plain and unvarnished are the words of truth”) in ancient Greece, much has been made of speaking the so-called unvarnished truth. And it is to her credit in the story above that Mrs. Jones spoke the truth.
But it is arguably to her detriment, as well as to that of those around her, that she did not do so in a way that was redemptive. Another ancient write, the Apostle Paul, seems to have understood how important all of this is for believers. He once admonished the Christians at Ephesus to “speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ...”
Is it wrong for believers to be untruthful? Certainly! But surely it is also wrong for us to wield the truth as a cold, hard weapon, causing needless pain in the lives of others. As one preacher quipped, “You can be as straight as a gun barrel in your message; but you can also be as cold as one in your delivery!”
Clearly that is why the Apostle Paul urges us to speak the truth “in love”. After all, his statement in Ephesians 4:15 comes in the midst of an entire chapter devoted to the importance of loving others as Christ loved us – one that both begins and ends with an emphasis on love:
The chapter’s opening words are: “Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”
And its closing words are: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
I hope I will always be known as someone who speaks the truth. But I also hope I will be known as someone who does this with a gentle and loving spirit. For the same God who said: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” in the Gospel of John (14:6) also tells us that He is love in the Letters of John (4:8, 4:16). As believers, therefore, it behooves us to always try to find ways to communicate honestly with others, but in a way that is gracious and redemptive.
JOKE SOURCE: Available widely on the internet. This version was posted by Stefania Molinari on www.Quora.com on November 18, 2022.