The 80/20 Rule

Last night my phone received several text messages. Two friends were texting me about the same issue just different circumstances. The first, I have walked with for more than a year. He has shared with me parts of his heart that he hasn’t shared with anyone else, other than his wife. He desire is freedom. His heart longs for healing…from his past…from his sin…from his addiction. He has been honest, just not completely honest. Until last night.

The second friend was going to talk with a guy that just confessed to an affair. He texted me to ask for my prayers and to let me know that this person may be reaching out to me. His last text to me was “I’m not sure he is being completely honest.”

The thing about complete honesty is that no one can gauge it but the person that is sharing. You and I could meet every day for accountability and support, but if you leave out part of the truth, only you know that. Complete honesty is something only one person controls…and that person often times values safety over transparency. When we value safety over transparency, truth is almost always the sacrificial lamb.

As my friend texted me last night, he said, “I want you to know I’ve been honest. But I’ve only shared about 80% of the truth.” I text him back and said, “I don’t know a lot, but I know that you will never experience 100% healing by sharing 80% of the truth.”

Maybe today you realize that you have been skimming the top of honesty for a long time. You share only part of your heart; a fraction of the truth; some of the details. You expect God to heal you from addiction or show up for you in your marriage or provide you with freedom from your past. You want 100% of God, but only offer him 80% of you. You want 100% from your marriage but only offer 80% of you. You want 100% from your accountability partner, but only offer 80% of you.

So many people stay tied to the last 20% of their struggles because they only offer 80% of the truth. I don’t know a lot, but I know we can never experience 100% freedom; 100% healing; 100% of the life Jesus promises by offering 80% of the truth. 80% of truth will always leave us 20% short of true healing.

It takes courage. It takes risk. It provides 100% of what you are longing for.

8 Responses to The 80/20 Rule

  1. Adriane Christensen

    I just stumbled upon your blog for the first time and reading this was so timely

    This is something I’ve battled recently- not wanting to be transparent or expose myself too much…just enough. But this last week, a friend of mine called me out on some things in my life and in my attitude and I realized that if I don’t expose my heart, the Lord will be faithful enough to do it for me.

    For so long, I feel like I’ve hit a wall. I’ll get so close to breakthrough and then I’ll “get sucked back into the vortex” as my mentor put it…and reading this, I think I finally see the issue. I haven’t been willing to be 100% honest. God knows, I’m not fooling Him nor do I pretend to. But I need to be 100% with those He has placed in my life because until I do, I will never experience the full scope of His healing.

    Thank you for this, for putting into words something I couldn’t quite pinpoint.

  2. Larrychrista

    I love many types of music but am liking bluegrass a lot these days. Awesome music and truth.

  3. Diane1230

    I’ve always heard it said that people are not honest with their spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend/whomever because they don’t want to be honest with themselves.  This is true in my case many times.  Uttering it out loud makes it true — and that can be a hard circumstance to live with…  Good post!!!!!

  4. Great post.   This is a great topic to discuss because there are so many different reasons for people to “hold back” – fear of hurting another person, fear of not being able to deal with repercusions of the honesty and sometimes just quite frankly not being sure whether or not they can handle being truthful with themselves – maybe they are too fragile.   Agreed that to heal it takes 100%, but so VERY hard to do sometimes.  

  5. Jody Duncan

    “Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty.”-AA

  6. Drea

    Amen <3  Thank you for articulating a huge fear I've always carried so well.  I'm always worried people are only sharing part of the truth so that I'm not disappointed in them and often my fears are worse than what really is – but may not always be so I keep wondering.  I'll share this for sure.  Thank you 🙂

  7. Meg E.

    Sharing this, sharing this, SHARING THIS!  Love what you said about not being able to receive 100% healing by only sharing 80% of the truth.  That is one of those “truth bombs” everyone needs to hear.