There is a big difference between hurt and harm. We all hurt sometimes in facing hard truths, but it makes us grow. It can be the source of huge growth. That is not harmful. Harm is when you damage someone. Facing reality is usually not a damaging experience, even though it can hurt. ~ Dr. Henry Cloud
A family member posted this quote on Facebook this week. I’ve read it before, in one of Henry Cloud’s books, though the precise title has escaped me. It’s a truth I’ve often remembered when confronted with the dilemma:
1. Tell the truth and hurt someone.
2. Stay quiet and harm someone.
You would think the choice is an easy one, but it isn’t. For some of us, it can feel like the most difficult choice in the world.
This week, I chose to hurt someone. My choice caused someone pain. It caused other people pain. It caused me pain. As I write, I am still nursing the wounds. The knowledge of my own words has hung in the air around me, tainting each breath, stinging my eyes.
Still, I don’t regret my decision. For maybe my first time in this relationship, I stopped enabling harm. I said no to damage — damage to my loved ones and to myself. Truth’s light shone bright on the parody of love, and in the ringing silence I can’t help but feel the loss of the lie.
I did the right thing, but it doesn’t feel that way. That’s what dysfunction does. It makes what is good feel evil.
Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20 ESV)
I am thankful that God has given me the grace to taste true sweetness, to glimpse true light, and to know true goodness. It is true comfort in truth’s hurt.
(Image Credit: Southern Grace Photography)