Can We Be Honest?

"No. You are not wearing that. It's hideous and that's the truth."
Honesty is tough, isn't it? We lie to ourselves ("I'll get to that chore later.") We lie to each other ("Sure, that looks great on you!") We'd lie to God if we thought we could get away with it.

One of the hardest things about NOT being honest is keeping track of your lies. Did I tell this to Mary or Jake? Did I mention this to Caroline at work or my neighbor?

And then there are lies of omission. We just keep our mouths shut when we should speak up. We just "conveniently" leave out information.

I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.

Jesus didn't use "truthiness" when He spoke (check out yesterday's Gospel as evidence.) He wasn't uncharitable, but He was honest.

Have you ever seen a celebrity on the red carpet in an outfit that just does her no justice? I'm not talking about being half-naked, or testing the laws of physics. I mean, just something unflattering. Ugly.

I have a theory. This type of thing happens when the celebrity does not have a sister. You see, a sister will sit outside the dressing room, and when the celeb comes out in the ugly dress, the sister says, "Uh-uh. Not that. No way. It is not flattering. Go back in and try again." Now if the one trying on the dress hedges and says, "But I like the color..." the sister is ready. "No. That dress is wrong. I don't care what color it is; you don't look good. And we are not sending you off on the red carpet in an ugly get-up."

Alas, the celeb (with no honest sister) is surrounded by people who are paid to tell her she looks FABulous! Astounding! That unique piece is HOT! Go for it!

I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.

Normally, telling the truth is easy. "No, I can't come to your party. I have another commitment. But I'd love to see  you; let's plan on lunch."

Normally, families don't worry much about dishonesty and lying, unless it's become a pattern. "No, kiddo. You lied about where you were last weekend. You are grounded."

We want a work atmosphere that is honest. I've had the great misfortune of being in a job where machinations, plans and sleights of hand were being performed behind my back, all the while being told, "Everything is fine." It wasn't. it was toxic.

So why this post on honesty? Because I have a friend who isn't being honest. She hasn't been honest for awhile - I'm not really sure how long, because: lies.

She isn't being honest with herself. She's certainly not being honest to those closest to her, and people who are incredibly qualified to help her think through some major life changes she's decided to make. She's not being honest with God.

I've tried a couple of times to speak with her. I've been honest but as charitable as possible. Doesn't seem to have done much good. She has created a narrative that she is now bound and determined is the "truth," whether it actually is nor not.

Lying is toxic. It poisons the liar. It poisons the relationship with the person being lied to. For children, lies from parents are devastating. The child never knows what the truth is ("Uncle Bob is an alcoholic. He drinks too much and it's making him sick" is a whole lot easier for a kid to deal than "Oh, Uncle Bob was just being funny. He didn't really mean to say that stuff to you. Just never mind him.") Lying makes every conversation with the liar like a game Truth or Dare, only you won't know what the truth is and the person is daring you to believe them at your peril.

Being lied to hurts. We've all had that experience. We need to guard our thoughts and words so that we focus on loving truth, being charitable and expecting honesty. When we are lied to, we cannot just brush it off. Truth is too important. Jesus said so.

I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.

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