If I were to ask, you would probably say you are a truthful person. And I would believe you. But are you truthful all the time?
Many of you are older now and life experiences have caught up with you. You no longer joyfully jump out of bed to greet the new day. Very likely, you pause to assess the aches and pains prevalent in your life. You dress, get your first cup of coffee, and prepare to face the day.
Still grimacing with the pain so prevalent these days, you struggle to church, the grocery store or wherever your day leads. Almost immediately, a friend greets you: “Oh, it’s so good to see you. How are you today?”
Your immediate and usually automatic response is, “Oh, I’m good! How are you?”
Note two instances of being less than honest in this response – first, you’re still grimacing from the effort of trying to get your aching, painful body moving; second, your inquiry of your friend as to his or her well-being that morning is not sincere. Again, you’re running on automatic.
Another example: A friend is wearing a garment you haven’t seen before and you really don’t think it is very becoming. Then, that friend asks your opinion! Rather than spoil the friend’s day, you offer an insincere compliment. Sound familiar?
Being truthful is a trait we admire and strive for but it is often not recognized in us.
Several years ago, I was called before two ranking officers in regard to something I had done which was not allowed. The top officer said, “Helen, did you ______?”
“Yes, I did.”
He then turned to the other officer and said, “See? I told you she would tell the truth!” I was always proud of that. Even though I had done wrong, he could still see the honesty in my life. (Just as a point of record, that did not take the sting out of the reprimand I got.)
The lie about the dress I didn’t like? That was thrown in my face when a superior was trying to convince me to change a report I had written. His request would have covered a grievous act of another person. When I told him I would not change it to fit HIS story (when he hadn’t even been there), he asked if I wouldn’t tell a lie about someone else’s appearance.
When I refused to comply with his request (or demand!), I knew I would never gain any advancement in that place of employment, but being honest meant more to me that being pliable.
Scripture clearly states, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” While it says “against they neighbor”, I think we can glean from this that being honest in our lives is required of Christians.
Remember we are God’s representatives while we walk this earth, and our lives are the only Bible many will ever read.