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In defense of blunt

Some writers have explained the English constitution thus; the king, say they, is one, the people another; the peers are an house in behalf of the king; the commons in behalf of the people; but hath all the distinctions of the people; but this hath all the distinctions of an house divided against itself; and though the expressions be pleasantly arranged, yet when examined they appear idle and ambiguous; and it will always happen, that the nicest construction that words are capable of, when applied to the description of some thing which either cannot exist, or is too incomprehensible to be within the compass of description, will be words or sound only, and though they may amuse the ear, they cannot inform the mind,for this explanation includes a previous question, viz. HOW CAN THE KING BY A POWER WHICH THE PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO TRUST, AND ALWAYS ABLIGED TO CHECK?

Thomas Paine, Common Sense – January 1776

Thomas Paine, and his best-selling pamphlet, united ill feelings towards King George and solidified the people into a full-fledged declaration of independence from England and the war which followed.

Words, written bluntly, did that.

Paine didn’t dance around things or talk about them in a way so as not to offend. He went for the jugular with his pen and twisted when he found a vein so as to cause maximum damage. He went for the kill and got it.

As I’ve been reading Common Sense it reveals to me over and over again a simple truth: We have gone soft.

Something was wrong in his world. And he knew that others felt the same way. So he published his words with the hopes of putting his frustrations into action.

If he were to say those things today about our country? We’d call him a terrorist. (Or another label… even if we agreed with him, we’d have to disarm his words with a label.)

The pen is still mightier than the sword

Political-correctness is very effective. It leads to stalemates and exchanges of niceties. But being nice never leads to action. Compromise is the best you can do.

Meanwhile, the world is in desperate need of truths to be told, lies to be exposed, and convictions to be stood upon.

Millions will die in the coming decade because we are nice.

As believers in Jesus, we acknowledge that millions will go to hell because we are too nice (or want to protect our job) to do anything about our churches reaching 5%-10% of the general population of our country.

I’m 34 years old. I don’t have time to waste being nice.

This is what I tell people when they ask me, “If you know things you write will make people mad why do you still do it?

Have you ever met someone in their 70s full of regret? Looking back on their life they tearfully tell you the things they wish they had done, said, or the person they wished they could have been?

I have. And those conversations drive me to do and say things based on my convictions today. I’m not going to sit back and play nice as it only leads to compromise and regrets.

You are who you are on purpose

I’m stupid enough to believe what the Bible teaches me. And I hope you are, too.

God doesn’t have you where you are at by accident. You don’t live where you live accidentally. You don’t work where you work accidentally. It’s no accident who your co-workers are. Or your friends. Or the board you sit on nor the role you play at your church.

You were created for this moment to have the thoughts you have today and to say them. Fear God alone, not the consequences of putting to action the things God has laid on your heart.

Knowing that, have no fear. Just say it. Do it. And live it.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

No regrets.

By Adam McLane

Adam McLane is a partner at The Youth Cartel, co-author of A Parent's Guide to Understanding Social Media, blogger of 10+ years, and a fan of all things San Diego State University Aztecs.

13 replies on “In defense of blunt”

Wow Adam, couldn’t have read this on any better day than today. Reminds me about how “culterized” the American Church has become. Mostly because we’re afraid to be the hands and feet of Christ, speak the truth (in love), even when it hurts. Be encouraged!

I have found that there is a necessity for bluntness, sometimes it is the only way to get across the imparitive-ness of the point. Good insight man, keep it up!

Totally resonates with me, and one of the best posts you’ve written. I’m tired of Christianity being equated with “being nice.” The word “nice” isn’t even found in Scripture. Not once. Not that we’re being blunt for the sake of being blunt, it’s just that truth, though beautiful, sometimes ain’t pretty.

“Not that we’re being blunt for the sake of being blunt, it’s just that truth, though beautiful, sometimes ain’t pretty.”

That’d be a cool tattoo. Though I’m much too soft to get a tattoo.

Love the post and the truth of it, I, however, have found that people just really don’t want to hear the truth. Perhaps I am too blunt in saying the truth? Not sure but I always struggle with the condesending looks and so forth after expressing the truth in Gods word.

Great post! You wrote: “God doesn’t have you where you are at by accident. You don’t live where you live accidentally. You don’t work where you work accidentally. It’s no accident who your co-workers are. Or your friends. Or the board you sit on nor the role you play at your church.”

That’s good stuff and it resonated with the new “mission statement” our youth ministry just adopted: “Seek God, Serve Others, Love Yourself.” Our group articulated it like this: God made us who we are for a reason. God wants us to love the people that God has created us to be – to embrace who we are and live into our God-given identity to the very fullest by seeking God and serving others with our whole being. In a youth ministry culture that so often views guilt and shame as motivators of effective discipleship, I thought it was bold of these kids to recognize that they are who they are, in the place where they are, and with particular community because God wants to use them to bring love and grace into the lives of others.

I guess that’s not really related to being “blunt” but the idea that we are all who we are because God created us is really revolutionizing the way I view myself and others.

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