Honesty Is More Than Truthful Speech

Speaking with forked tongue

If you have ever stopped by a fast food restaurant you might find a yellow or red box displaying today’s headlines.  The newspaper company trusts you and me for picking up just one paper. Implied in the transaction is not allowing someone to take a paper as we take ours.  This act of trust may seem old-fashioned but there are other opportunities of proving honesty all around us.
There is a driving range where I live run by an elderly gentleman with the balls in the wire baskets on the porch and a basket with a rock in the office.  He has on the wall the prices of large and small baskets expecting you to put in your money before going to the range. Honesty is a way of life which has disappeared over the years of my life.  When I was a child I heard the story of George Washington saying, “I cannot tell I lie, father.  I chopped down the cherry tree.” Whether this is true or not the aim was to teach children the importance of honesty.

The devastation of lies

If you got in trouble by your parents it was more problematic if you compounded the crime with a lie.  Years ago schools had honor codes and you signed a pledge that you did not cheat on tests or exams.  Honesty is required in relationships as well and none can continue when lies are present.
An honest witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies.
Proverbs 14:5 (NIV)
Honesty is more than speech because it is a way of life far different from the world.  Jesus teaches our yes should mean yes and a no means no.  People lie to spare feelings, escape punishment or shame and so how do we live a life of honesty?  Do we give our employers a full 8 hour day?  Do we fail to help someone when it is in our power to do so?  Do we give our pastors a “fib” when he asks us to serve because we are not happy with him?  Do we give our full tithe instead of tipping God with a few dollars?

How will  you know if you are living a life of honesty?  Ask God to try your heart.  He has all the answers.

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