In an article titled “The Right Answer Alone Is Not Enough” Ron Rolheiser OMI begins by stating “Truth alone is not enough”. (The Right Answer Is Not Enough) He goes on to say that “it must be balance off with the other transcendental properties of oneness, goodness and beauty.” […] “We may be acting out of truth and, in fact, doing all the right things, but our energy can be wrong.” He goes on to speak of the older brother in the story of the prodigal son and then writes: “Truth is not a sledge hammer, it is an invitation that we must respectfully offer others.”
I find myself having to take a look at how I speak the truth. What is my attitude? How do I come across to others? Am I offering truth as something to be considered, or am I throwing it up in another’s face wrapped in blame and self-righteousness or worse in supposed piety? Who would ever want to look at a truth if it is thrown at them in arrogance or anger, if it is wrapped up shades of ‘holier-than-thou’ or smugness?
Ron also speaks of us having the right answer while having an incorrect understanding of the answer – as did Peter in Mark’s Gospel when asked by Jesus “who do you say I am?” and Peter answering “You are the Christ, the Messiah”. His answer was right but he did not really understand that although Jesus was the Messiah he was not all about earthly “riches and kingdoms”.
My own knowledge can be very limited and perhaps that is why I find myself needing to check things out – with others, with writings. The Spirit will always give us the answers if we ask. Then I need always to look at them in the spirit of wisdom and self-truth – and that comes with prayer, with discernment and with going deeper to see what lays behind my attitudes and my words before offering them to another.
It’s a good article – well worth the short read.