I find it humorous that the adjective the church uses to describe anyone who often uses brutal honesty to communicate is "real". The word "real" seems to be getting thrown around a lot lately, always with a very positive connotation. We are all looking for others who are "real". I think that is a good thing to look for in a person.
But more often than not the person that people describe to me as "real" could also be called "rude" in many situations, depending on what perspective you are coming from. This person usually 'tells it like it is' which can be refreshing for sure. I think there is nothing wrong with being honest, as long as we are honest with everyone in our life and not just with a few select individuals. The problem comes in when our honesty becomes brutal honesty.
I have to admit that I have been referred to on many an occasion as "brutally honest". I do seek to be honest with everyone in my life. It's with those closest to me that the brutal part seems to come out.
If we are not careful our "realness" can and will serve to isolate us from those that we love. Our "realness" can become "rudeness"...lessons learned from a very forgiving husband.
I would have to say that our culture of "realness" within the church has come at a price. How about using that word in a positive way. There is such a thing as "realness" that would not hurt anyone else. We can be "real" about our own struggles and not everyone else's. What ever happened to plain old good manners? After all, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. How practical is this...not saying anything to anyone at all if you have something negative to say. Take it all to God, right? But we are so imperfect and so scarred and hurt...how possible is it really?
Regardless of how hard and impossible, I do think we are called to something better. Praying today for myself and all of you to bring this before the Lord and ask Him what He thinks.