Let’s Be Honest

How many times have you heard someone say this? When I hear it, I wonder if the person has been lying up ‘til now. If I ever get the urge to utter such an expression, I stop myself and rephrase. It’s the same with let’s be clear. I don’t use these phrases because I don’t want to imply I’ve been the opposite.

Honesty seems to be in short supply these days. In my state, we just went through an election with all the attendant campaign promises and smearing of opponents. Several propositions were on the ballot and I found it difficult to sift through the conflicting information and make an informed decision for or against. I wish the politicians would just be honest!

Has honesty gone the way of eight-tracks, vinyl records and other outdated technological gadgets? A character on a popular TV show says everyone lies. According to him, everyone has something to hide or thinks they have something to gain from not telling the truth. It’s human nature to want to protect oneself. I hate to distrust everyone but I suspect this TV character is correct. Is dishonesty the new best policy?

Colossians 3:9-10 gives a good reason for honesty: “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (NIV).

Paul said we died and our lives are now hidden with Christ in God and he is our life (verses 3-4), so the old self, with its earthly nature (verse 5) needs to be put to death as well. According to Paul, this isn’t automatic, but something we must give attention to as we go through the process of being transformed and renewed.

As new creatures in Christ, we are experiencing the lavish love of God and have abundant life in him. C. Baxter Kruger, in an interview on the GCI website, said the abundance of God as Father, Son and Spirit is expressed in us. This allows us to give ourselves away entirely and then receive ourselves back from God and one another. He goes on to say our understanding of our acceptance and of being included in Christ allows us to let things go, to just be in Christ. This means we are not in a self-centered mode, but calm and assured, free of fear (my paraphrasing).

This means we don’t need to fear telling the truth, to others or to ourselves. We have nothing to hide, we don’t need to protect ourselves and we have nothing to gain by lying. Life is complicated enough with having to make up or remember stories. And the truth comes out in the end anyway.

Our new selves are being renewed in the image of our Creator. As we grow in grace and knowledge of him, his honesty, transparency, candor and forthrightness will shine brighter and brighter in us as light in the darkness. Does everyone lie? Perhaps; we’re still human. But let’s surrender ourselves to the renewal and transformation of the Holy Spirit and just be honest.

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