The other day I was visiting a friend in Burlington, Vermont, when I noticed a small dragon in her living room. I inquired as to the friendliness of this creature in the room and whether or not it was supposed to be “out”. I was told it was actually sunning itself, so yes – it was supposed to be there. I guess I was relieved – and tried to find solace in the pure enjoyment this dragon displayed while basking in the sunlight.
However, often critters can make there way into our living rooms and wreak havoc – while we ignore them, tiptoe around them or pretend they are not there. I am speaking of the proverbial “elephant in the living room”. (Here is a concise definition I took from Wikipedia. “Elephant in the room” is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is being ignored or goes unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss. It is based on the idea that an elephant in a room would be impossible to overlook; thus, people in the room who pretend the elephant is not there have chosen to avoid dealing with the looming big issue.)
While I think elephants are amazing creatures – I don’t want one in my living room. Yet, at times I have allowed them to be there out of fear of speaking honestly. Several scriptures have helped me tremendously that I refer to as my “elephant busters” – (emphasis added) They are: Ephes. 4:15-16
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?
1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
No matter how difficult, I pray to always be honest and to not let creatures take residence in my living room, or any rooms of my heart.
If they move in and we ignore them, they will destroy our living rooms and leave a room full of elephant d.u.n.g. In order to avoid the refuse there are several keys to be aware of. They are: Discernment, Understanding, “Niceness” and Graciousness. While speaking honestly, it is important to discern the best ways – including timing to approach a difficult situation. It is also important to understand that there may be pieces missing in our understanding. A tone of gentleness and kindness (or niceness) is also something we are instructed by God to practice. It is also of utmost important to remember that God is a God of grace and mercy. While he is just, he is also merciful – a God of grace and truth. I desperately need his wisdom, power and guidance as I go through life. May we all find the integrity, unity, freedom and love that truth produces.