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Real Honesty

June 17, 2013

“Saying something to make people “feel good about themselves” is not an expression of love if it is not truthful; it is ultimately patronizing and destructive.”[1]

This flies in the face of Western culture. In youth sports we tell everyone they are “winners.” That is a lie. Someone scored more than the other, therefore someone won and someone lost. Or after a big mistake a boss will tell you, “Don’t worry, it’s not a problem.” The real answer is, “I understand it was a mistake, but this error cost the business $5000 dollars.”

It may seem harsh to tell someone the truth it is better than lying. After all, at times the truth is harsh and painful. Yet that painful truth, properly delivered, can cause growth to occur. After all, who wants to be the weak link in the process?

Here is the kicker – Jesus was bluntly honest with people. He addressed them where they were at. He did not tell the woman at the well her lifestyle was acceptable. He confronted her about it. He did not tell the money changers in the temple that He didn’t mind them being there – He drove them out.

This feel good talk has infiltrated our churches, homes and workplaces. Learn how to be polite and honest at the same time. People will get their feelings hurt on occasion. Yet they would rather hear the truth than a lie. Be a real friend and speak truth.

[1] Christine D. Pohl. Living into Community. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2012. 122

  1. Awesome!! I heartily agree with this post, especially that first quote. Growing up my mom always told me it didn’t matter if I won, as long as I had fun playing is what mattered.

    I think we often fool kids because we don’t want to face the truth. Seeing parents who refuse to confront the issue of death with their kids make me upset because of the reality the kids will have to face later. The truth hurts less the first time around than it will after someone has already lied to you!

    Awesome post!!

    • I agree. In our efforts to maintain a child’s innocence we expose them to lies. I wonder how much of a child’s lies are a learned behavior. Honesty seems to be a rare characteristic these days.

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