While visiting in ATL this weekend, the subject of Honesty has come up because my grandson has not been truthful lately. As habits tend to do, you start with a little and much more usually follows. When asked the questions by his Mom such as "Have you brushed your teeth?" or "Have you fed your guinea pig?" his responses have been a quick yes, but reality is that it should have been no.
With 7 year old kids we can almost brush this off as a temporary excuse, but his Mom thought this would be a teachable moment, so she gave him a firm lecture, pointing out how he lately has gotten off course. That is of course what good Moms do. But knowing him like I do, I asked her for a chance to talk with him as well (that's what good Grandparents do- ask).
Our talk was brief ,and very quietly I spoke with him man to man about what good men do. And I said "That's not who you are, pal" and mentioned how it can become a very bad habit. To reflect, Honesty was not very present in my drinking years, it was something I had to learn to do all over again, like a child. Maybe my grandson can avoid that, and I will always strive to encourage him to be truthful because I know how destructive a lack of it can be.
So obviously Honesty is always the best policy. But even more than that are the words which come from Jesus about the parable of the man of nobility and his servants in Luke 19:11-27:
"Well done my good servant! his master replied. Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities."
The seed of Honesty planted at a young age can lead to tremendous growth as an adult. When you are a person to be trusted, there is no telling what your ceiling can be in a relationship, in business or especially as a parent who passes on the truth. On the other hand, the constant habit of lying can require excessive energy just to cover up the falsehood as well as the hurt and pain it causes us and others.
Yes, sometimes being honest can hurt as well, but not nearly as much as a lie which can cause your Guinea Pig to die if you don't feed him. And, our society seems to be constantly against being honest even though they say they are (present political races), so it seems so much rarer when someone of character and Honesty actually exists.
That is why I am sure Jesus prefaced most of his parables with "I tell you the truth.....". He was a rare one indeed!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.