“An honest heart loves the truth.” – A.W. Pink.
The Bible is a brutally honest book. If we read the Bible looking only for positive role models, we’ll be quickly disappointed.
Jesus was brutally honest, but He coupled it with compassion. He spoke the truth in love. Jesus said many things that if we are honest, we find uncomfortable. Jesus was stern, firm, strict, and uncompromising. Yet, He was fair and straightforward. You can’t look at His interactions with the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees and not conclude that He was brutally honest with them. The religious leaders felt insulted by the truth because they often believed they were right and the truth is wrong. They were highly defensive of their views, values, choices, principles, philosophy, and behavior. They believe that no one has the right to dictate or tell us how to live our lives. The question is are we all that different today, Can we handle the truth or speak the truth in other people’s lives?
Today, honesty can seem like a gray area: All of us expect honesty from those around us, but when it comes to our own success in this area often we rationalize times when we think it might be okay to be less than honest.
The Bible teaches us to be honest and practice honesty at all times. “Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” (Ephesians 4:15.) We have to ask ourselves, do my words ring true? Do I speak the truth in love or do I fudge and fade the facts now and then, or exaggerate for emphasis? Honesty is a direct reflection of a person’s heart. If we expect other people to have the courage, to be honest with us, then wouldn’t anything but honesty from us be promoting a double standard?
Try to imagine just for a moment what a different place this world would be if there was no lying or deception. Lying has infected all parts of our lives. God is pretty straightforward about lying in the Bible. There is not too much gray area when it comes to this because God says, “Don’t lie,” period! There are no ifs, and, or buts. There is no gray area in stretching the truth as far as God is concerned. In our own personal lives, we need to learn the importance of telling the truth, believing the truth, and living the truth.
As followers of Christ, we try to be as honest as possible because we have different standards. Honesty is the norm for Christians. Honesty is best cultivated, like most virtues, when exercised regularly. When we get into a habit of telling the truth we won’t be tempted to depart from the truth quite as often.
God is looking for some honest people. People whom He can trust. People who will be honest in all their dealings. People who reflect God in their lives.
- What does honesty mean to you?
- I would challenge you to deliberately be honest for the next day or two. In that time refuse to lie, deceive or speak half-truths. It will not be easy. It will require your total effort and concentration, and a lot of help from the Holy Spirit.