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Honesty


System honesty majors on not stealing pens from the boss or not cheating on your income tax. But Christian honesty majors on being honest with the ones who really count: God and yourself.

One of the worst names you can call a person is "liar".

But this is, in itself, a hypocritical, unspoken lie. The truth is that we all deceive people at times. We do so to avoid embarrassment, to keep from hurting people's feelings, to keep information from people we do not trust. Even when we refuse to answer, we are hiding some truth. Deception is what lies are all about.

Like the person who "commits adultery in his heart" all of us are liars at heart, because all of us deceive. Yet we make scapegoats of the person who is caught in the act of lying, like the Pharisees did with the woman caught in the act of adultery.

Organisations which used to smuggle Bibles into communist countries often bragged that they didn't lie at the border checks (like some rival smuggling organisations did) and yet they still managed to get Bibles through. How silly! Deception is what it's all about. A few good honest lies might be just what they need spiritually.

Why deceive ourselves into thinking we are more honest than we are? If we could learn to be more honest about our dishonesty (and deception) we could probably discover other truths about ourselves as well. We could face fears and bitterness that we've tried for years to pretend didn't exist. We could confront our pride and greed, laziness and lust. (Hands up everyone who has ever looked at a girlie magazine!) And all of this would probably make us much nicer people to be around, since it would make us less harsh on others who have not been as clever as us in hiding their sinfulness.

When people aren't able to confront the truth about themselves, they overload their subconscious with all the information that the conscious mind does not want to deal with. Mr. Hyde is forced to accept all the nasty truth about Dr. Jekyl that the good doctor doesn't want to take responsibility for himself. Jekyl, of course, never tells lies or cheats on his income tax despite all of this lying to himself.

Christians should be able to face the truth about themselves more than anyone else; because we know that God (who knows the worst about each of us) still loves us and forgives us. If God can forgive us and accept us as friends despite our sinfulness, then why worry about what others will think?

This sort of honesty will make us more whole individuals and bring freedom and understanding in every area of our lives. (James 5:16, John 8:31-32)

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