2017-07-05 by Object of Contempt
This light-hearted clip hints at a topic I’ve had on my mind for quite a while. When I wrote my two “Crazy in Love” posts, Emphasis on Crazy and Emphasis on Love, I felt that I needed to address the basics of love and abuse. For a victim of emotional abuse, those two concepts can get amazingly fuzzy. I hope they were as useful for the readers as they were for me to express. So far, I think they are the most important things I’ve written about since I started this blog in February 2016.
Today’s post is related to those posts… a simple underlying assumption that provides a foundation for healthy love, and a bright line to help us discern love from abuse. Today’s topic is: Truth in love. Let me be clear; I’m not just talking about how bad lying is in relationships. Instead, I want to point to how central loving the truth is to relationships.
Those previous posts explain that loving acts tend to center on three qualities they protect and display:
- Loyalty, and
I could easily have included truth for a fourth quality, but I think it is more foundational than that. Loving the truth is a characteristic of a person, rather than of love. Lacking a love of the truth fits right beside lacking empathy, in my view. In fact, they seem to me to feed each other.
A person who does not love the truth will struggle with candor, to say the least. An abuser sees truth as just a classification for information. This is the case for the truth about the abuser, or the truth about the color of the car that just passed by. Information, is data, is a tool, and is fluid. Truth is just one way to label the information, but the abuser will not care unless it happens to match up with some other label like, “Useful,” or “Embarrassing”. Of course, the information has to be useful or embarrassing to them. If information can accomplish the manipulative task at hand, that is what matters. People, words, actions, and staplers all fit in the same category of tools to be used, however subtly or ferociously.
Until a person loves the truth, there is no chance for truly loving another person. This applies doubly where reconciliation is needed. An abuser gets no perceived benefit from the candor required for a real apology. Repentance just means changing your thoughts and actions that were wrong. To ask an abuser to stop (repent of) any hurtful thing is generally futile on several levels. However, the level at the bottom that has to be addressed first is the abuser’s “relationship” with truth. Rather than repent, an abuser will hide the truth and withhold an admission because that is “the way truth is used” in this situation. And, if the truth has already been discovered? Then new information will be made to deflect, discredit, and invalidate. Subtle (or direct) accusations may be created to malign the memory and sanity of the abused individual.
For reasons I don’t entirely understand, empathy is easier to feign than truthfulness. In terms of accurately knowing if there is hope for a relationship, there is no more critical thing to find in that other person than a love of the truth. It is the basic value that makes every expression of love a real one. If it isn’t there, if you find subtle manipulation going on, that is when it becomes important to consider turning away from that person. To find out what God thinks of these types of people, do a Bible search, especially in Psalms and Proverbs for words like “deceitful”.
Here is one verse as an example:
He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him.
Make no mistake; deceit, lies, disingenuous acts and words… they all equate to hatred and contempt. Please be careful with dishonest people!
- from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- v. To disguise or conceal behind a false appearance.
- v. To make a false show of; feign.
- v. To disguise or conceal one’s real nature, motives, or feelings behind a false appearance.
Useful word, but very old and out of common use.