I would say that I value honesty above almost all else. In relationships, in friendships, and in the day to day.
I remember one day while I was at work and one of the staff mentioned that a client was trying to reach me and would be calling back. I don’t remember why I was not in a place where I was prepared to talk with this person but my reaction clearly communicated that I did not desire to take the call. The next question caught me by surprise, not because it was so out of the ordinary, but because it sounded so ordinary. She asked if when the woman called, if I wanted her to say that I was not in the office. I remember looking at her confused, shook my head and said, no, that would be a lie. Just tell them that I will give them a call as soon as I am able. This was years ago, and though I have not successfully lived my life without deceit, I do make an intentional point to try not to outright lie. And the staff knows that they are not permitted to lie for me.
Lying has become so commonplace in our society that we often don’t even realize that is what we are doing. When is the last time you were invited to an event that you genuinely didn’t want to go to, but instead of saying, “no I am just going to enjoy an evening at home” or “Thank you for the invitation but I will not be attending” you say, “oh, I would love to go but… insert excuse here”. Sure, you can say that is to avoid hurting someone’s feelings but in reality, it is hurting your integrity.
God designed us to live in truth, this is why we feel the shame of deceit.
John 8:31-32 “If you hold to my teaching you are really my disciples, then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
John isn’t just talking about biblical truth, this is about truth in general. So how do you open up and be honest about things that are concerning or hurtful when the one you want to share them with becomes angry and doesn’t hear you? I am at a place in my life where I am fully living in truth – well I am living with the intention of truth, I still find myself acting happy to see someone who I am not super fond of, or telling people I am fine when I am not etc. But I am seeking the Lord’s help in living consistently in truth.
There is one area where I am not living in truth, it is regarding my true fears and concerns within my relationship. I have tried to express them, but the truth is, there are times when emotionally it is not safe for me to discuss these things with my significant other. Today I am feeling worried and discouraged because as it seems, my feelings don’t matter if they in any way invoke unpleasant feelings in my mate. So, I sit filled with inner turmoil because I cannot be honest due to fear of the reaction.
This is not what God intended, and I know that this is not how my mate wants me to feel. So, I am turning to the Lord to give me wisdom and direction.
Psalm 15:2-3 Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor and casts no slur on others, who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord: who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken.