Wednesday, June 25, 2008

on honesty (1) is honesty all it's cracked up to be?

Is honesty always helpful?

You'll know by now that I value honesty (my blog's title might be a giveaway). Early on, I explained why I think honesty is important. One of my aims for my blog is to be honest about my sins and sorrows, in order to encourage you when you struggle, and to show God's grace in my weakness.

So Simone's comments about honesty and Honoria and Simone's discussion challenged my thinking (thanks, girls!).

Women, particularly, use honesty to sympathise, comfort and feel better about themselves. Most women (and men?) will be familiar with conversations like this one:
I shouted at my son today! Aren't I terrible?
Me too! I said ... !
Oh, you should have seen me the other day!
I feel so much better now that I know you lose your temper too.
After a conversation like that, I feel better because I know others are as bad as I am. And I feel affirmed because you've heard the worst about me and haven't rejected me.

But this is not where the Bible directs us for comfort. We're not comforted because we're no worse than others, or because they accept us. In comparison with God's perfect standards, we are black as black. We're comforted because we're forgiven sinners who are deeply loved by God.

Is honesty a Christian virtue? No, of course not (unless you mean the negative virtue of not lying or stealing). Honesty is a neutral quality. On the one hand, it can be an excuse for gossip, slander, or complaining, or a vehicle for bitter, angry, or careless words. On the other hand, it can be a starting point for encouragement.

When we practise honesty, we need to ask ourselves:
  • What is my motivation?
  • Is it appropriate?
  • Is it loving?
  • Is it helpful?
Is honesty helpful? Tomorrow I'd like to share 7 ways honesty helps.

Image is from stock.xchng

1 comment:

Simone R. said...

cool. looking forward to more.