Who Speaks Truth to You?

As a doctor, I have spent more than a decade learning medicine and nearly another practicing it. I get calls weekly from friends and family members with one complaint or another who want answers. They tell me things they wouldn’t tell their spouse or their children or a parent. People become brutally honest when they speak to doctors; the more serious the symptom, the more honest their words.

I try and deliver the most sound, reasonable, yet honest answers. It is much easier to tell a patient of mine the truth about their health risks or likely outcomes than it is my cousin or brother-in- law. I find myself struggling to say what I could and would say to a patient. But I owe them the honest truth; sugar coating the reality of a symptom could lead to misperceived wellness or a lack of action or ignoring a serious health concern. So as uncomfortable as it is, I tell them the truth.

I too need people to speak truth to me, deliver harsh diagnoses and warnings and calculated risks that may be associated with my symptoms and behaviors. I need people to look at my overall health and wellbeing and say – woah, slow down there. Red flag. Warning ahead. Time to seek help. Time to change your habits. You need a prescription, stat.

It isn’t always wonderful to hear the truth about ourselves. But we all need it. When you truly care about someone, loving them is not withholding a diagnosis of self-absorption, self-neglect, hurting relationships, workaholic, ignoring family, poor communication, anger, and bitterness. You must tell them. It may sting; but knowing the truth of the diagnosis will lead to help.

We need those people. We can’t just surround ourselves with people who don’t see the ugly things that need to be uprooted in us. It is dangerous to surround yourself with people who are fearful of losing your friendship or your favor so much that they will let you continue down a path of destruction. That’s not love. And those aren’t true friends. Those are called acquaintances. Make no mistake.

Who speaks truth to you? Who tells you the harsh things, the things that take guts to say? We all need a doctor. If you don’t have one…find one :)