Truth-telling while Naked?

[Note to regular readers: an infection has gotten into my chest and it has laid me low and unable to write for a few days]

I have been thinking a lot lately about how we talk with each other–and how difficult it is to say hard things without insulting and impugning people with whom we disagree.

Many people decry the increasing polarization of political discourse in our nation. I cringe every time a leader opines that a natural disaster is caused by the irreligion of people. Of course, none of this comes close to the horrors of suicide bombers and other forms of terrorist activity.

Even in smaller communities, like churches or other groups of seemingly like-minded people, people can say some hurtful, if not hateful, things–often in the name of truth-telling and love. It is not news to say that some of the worst of this happens through email.

There are alternatives. Don’t hit the send button, for one. As you think hard thoughts about someone, try to visualize them sitting across from you, listening to your diatribe. If you really need help to calm down, picture yourself naked while speaking “the truth” to them.

Pray (that’s the most powerful tool for me). I confess I have been praying a lot lately.