The Importance of Honesty in Our Daily Lives
The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, contains various passages regarding the importance of honesty. One of the most simple passages is contained in Ephesians 4:25, which states, “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” The passage is powerful because it reveals that it is important to be honest, not only because it frees our soul of the burden of deceit, but also because lies drive wedges between people.
They enslave the person who utters them but also the one who is deceived, and the pain caused by the discovery of a lie can be so deep that a relationship is severed forever. As noted in Luke 16:10-12, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?”
There are many reasons why people lie, but what all these reasons have in common, is fear. Some lies are small and told with the intent sparing someone hurt – for instance, we may not feel in the mood to attend a social occasion so we may say we have another event on at the same time, even if this is not true. These ‘white lies’ are often not too damaging, yet in good relationships, why make room for them? Being honest is sometimes hard, and takes courage, yet the sensation of telling our friends and family how we truly feel, is greatly rewarding, for ourselves, as well as for them.
White lies can be harmless, but if they become a habit, they can end up creating distance between ourselves and others. This is the case with habitual liars, who tell untruths about a variety of issues – some small, others deeply meaningful. To combat habitual lying, the first step is to accept God’s grace and mercy. Our faith can give us the strength we need to face the consequences of being honest. Lying can seem easier, but we achieve little when we are not fully honest. When we admit that we have a problem, we can then rely on God and prayer at the times when anxiety hits hardest and we are tempted to lie.
We should also learn to depend on others – our best friend, therapist or a family member we trust. We should start off by committing to complete honesty with one person. Slowly but surely, we can grow our circle of trust until we feel more comfortable really revealing who we are to a larger group.
Sometimes, making headway in a relationship involves admitting lies and committing to newfound openness in the future. Be prepared for those you have hurt to take their time to believe in you once again. Don’t let the fear of their rejection drive you back into the cycle of lies. Think of the hardest times as a necessary basis to rebuild important relationships.
Keeping a journal can also help. The journal should not merely list down your day’s activities; use it to also write down the reasons why you lied and to consider another way of dealing with a difficult situation – one which does not involve lying.
It is also vital to create meaning in your life by setting small, achievable goals every day. As you achieve these goals, your self-confidence grows and you feel less tempted to give your ego a boost with lies. If ever you do relapse into lying, remember that your worst actions do not define the person that you are. You can always start with a clean slate. Use your setbacks to enlighten you on how you can do things differently next time. An honest life involves hard work and small setbacks will not stop you from being the sincere person you have always wanted to be. Finally, when you feel most tempted to indulge in self-destructive behaviour, open the Bible, find inspiration in verses on honesty, and pray. Your faith will enable you to move mountains and knock down fear and other barriers to a beautiful and honest life.
This is an article sent in by Sally Painthorpe