Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Secret Santa!!

Too old for Santa? I think not.

Yes, there are discussions as to whether we should "lie" to kids and tell them that Santa brings them gifts vs. We can't lie to the kids; it's wrong.

There is also the "Christmas is about Jesus" vs. "But Santa is magical!"

You know, we have so few magical and joyful moments, and less and less as we get older. Santa is fun. And the kids usually figure it out, and no one I know was ever scarred for life for believing that Santa brought them and every child everywhere a toy for Christmas.

It's the magic of looking up at the sky on a clear December night, thinking "I'll wait up to see Santa" and later, as you fell asleep at the window, being in your daddy's arms as he carries you to bed.

It's the magic of putting out cookies and milk (or beer, because Santa does like beer) and maybe some carrots for the reindeer, and then checking in the morning to make sure the food was all consumed.

It's…

Advent Brokenness

It was a lovely May evening, the kind we in Michigan savor like honey. After the brutal cold of winter, flowers blossomed, grass greened, mosquitoes flocked. School was almost done for the year - just the formalities of 8th grade graduation were ahead.

Why not saddle up the horse and go for a ride? Why not, indeed. So my sister and I did. I took Prince out across the road from our house, to romp through the weeds on a path my father mowed for us. The view from horseback on a spring night - well, nearly Heaven.

Until Prince bolted. He spooked. I fell. And my arm broke. Compound fracture.

My dog, a collie, had followed us out. He was not particularly trusting of Prince, as Prince would never allow himself to be herded, and this vexed my collie. My dog, channeling his inner Lassie, ran home without me.

My sister had been in the yard with her boyfriend at the time, Gary, waiting for me to come back. Instead, it was just the dog loping across the road. That didn't seem right, so my si…