“I’m telling you the honest truth.”
“Let me be honest with you…”
“Honestly, it’s the best I have to offer.”
Only…when it’s not.
Don’t you hate that when someone tells you the “honest truth” only to find out it’s an honest lie? “Honesty is the best policy,” but we don’t always encounter people who are honest. It breaks trust and certainly doesn’t build a secure relationship.
Jesus said, “But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one (Matthew 5:34-37).”
Jesus teaching on swearing reminds us to build a character of honesty. If we have to swear to validate what we are saying, it probably means we have a deeper problem…we often don’t tell the truth. If we regularly practice honesty in our relationships, people will trust our “Yes” or “No” as the honest truth.
We live in a culture of media and interactions that are willing to twist the truth to fit a narrative. Snippets of information fail to communicate the whole story, thus concealing the truth. We can’t fix all of that in one devotion, but God wants to work on our hearts. So let’s let him. Here’s three ways to provide honesty in your relationships.
First, find your source of truth in God and his Word. So much around us fails to pass the truth test. The only way to know the truth is go to the source of all truth. Titus 1:2 reminds us that God will never lie to us: “…a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,…”
Second, be honest with yourself. John wrote in 1 John 1:8 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” We must allow God’s truth to first work in our own hearts and lives. Remember Satan is the Father of Lies and loves to deceive us into believing lies as truth, starting in our own hearts.
Third, speak the truth in love. The Apostle Paul writes, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ (Ephesians 4:15) We speak the truth with a heart of love and a goal for people to see Jesus. As truth of Jesus’ words grow in our heart and lives, we have opportunity to lovingly proclaim that truth.
Relationships are strained by a lack of honesty and truth. As children of God we have the source of truth to be filled with and that same truth to share in love with others. Let God’s honest truth be what builds honesty in all of your relationships.
Apply: Is there some aspect of life that you are avoiding God speaking truth into it? Why not a) seek truth for that aspect of life and b) try putting it into practice to see the blessing God brings from it!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for always presenting the truth to me. Sometimes I don’t like it, but I need it. Thank you for opening my mind and heart to the truth, for your truth enables me to be honest in all my relationships. AMEN.