Personal, Wellbeing

Tell the truth

Tell the truth to the person you share your life with. About what you think, how you feel and what you want. Tell the truth about what you do when no one is looking.

Tell the truth to your children. About the big things and the little things. Help them not to be afraid of naming what they see. Show them what it means to live in truth, to defend truth and to stand up for truth.

Tell the truth to your friends. About how you really are, your struggles and the state of your life. Push out from the shallows into deeper waters.

Tell the truth at work. Speak up about what you see happening. Tell the truth to your boss, the people you are responsible for and to customers and clients.

Tell the truth in your community. In your clubs, churches, to neighbours and on your WhatsApp groups. Tell the truth to people in the pub and the person who cuts your hair.

Tell the truth to the person who wants what you cannot give them. Look them in the eye and tell them your answer truthfully.

Tell the truth on social media. To those who are near and those far away. To those with whom you often agree and those you normally disagree. Speak truth whether you are greeted with applause, silence or anger. Let truth erode the echo chambers we live in.

Tell the truth to God. This is what He is there for.


Tell the truth so you become better at telling the truth.

Tell the truth carefully, compassionately, humbly, politely and precisely. Tell the truth without shouting or yelling into a megaphone. Let truth cut through lies, obfuscation and passive-aggression.

Tell the truth with kindness and grace so that others can hear what you are saying. But don’t let shallow kindness or cheap grace hide what is true.

Tell the truth because it is the right thing to do. Tell the truth because it helps others. Tell the truth because of the person it turns you into.

Tell the truth not because reality is comfortable, but because it’s the only thing we truly have.

Tell the truth because engaging with reality is the only way to change reality.

Tell the truth because it is The Truth that sets us free.

18 thoughts on “Tell the truth”

  1. Wonderful, Jon. I love the way you wrote this, like the wisdom literature in Scripture. Truth is not cold and lifeless but flows from the One who is Love.


  2. This is great, and how seldom we hear it. Telling the truth with love and grace is how we are meant to be. Thanks, Jon – reading your stuff always adds to my store of wisdom.


  3. Just for reference, I wrote this post in a stream of consciousness (which is obviously quite different to what I normally publish) after reading these words in Jordan Peterson’s book ’12 Rules for Life’:

    “If you say no to your boss, or your spouse, or your mother, when it needs to be said, then you transform yourself into someone who can say no when it needs to be said. If you say yes when no needs to be said, however, you transform yourself into someone who can only say yes, even when its very clearly time to say no.”

    “To tell the truth is to bring the most habitable reality into Being. Truth builds edifices that can stand a thousand years. Truth feeds and clothes the poor, and makes nations wealthy and safe. Truth reduces the terrible complexity of a man to the simplicity of his word, so that he can become a partner, not an enemy. Truth makes the past truly past, and makes the best use of the future’s possibilities. Truth is the ultimate, inexhaustible natural resource. It’s the light in the darkness. See the truth. Tell the truth.”


  4. John, thank you for this piece on ‘Telling the truth’. I’d be grateful for permission to included it, with acknowledgement, in the January edition of ‘The Dubber’, our Purbeck community magazine. Kind regards James


  5. Hi Jon
    Hope you’re well. Long time no see.
    It’s your old mate from university sarah sansom. I’d like to talk to you about a project I’m working on.
    Can you spare 5 mins?


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