Dare to Be Honest, Part I
"Therefore, putting away lying, 'Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,' for we are members of one another."1
A Daily Encounter reader asks, "Can you please write on the devastating consequences of lying? Can a person be walking with the Lord and still continue to lie?"
When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth he had to rebuke them because of their manner of living, which was anything but glorifying to God. He called them babes in Christ and carnal Christians. Thus, if a person is a Christian and is a habitual liar, he is not living in harmony with the will of God, and is a carnal Christian. If he has genuinely accepted Jesus as his Savior, he will not lose his salvation, but he will certainly lose out on God's blessing. (Keep in mind, however, that not all who profess to be Christians, are.)
Sad to say, many habitual liars end up believing their own lies. They have practiced this deception for so long, that they are living in denial and are blind to the fact that they are liars. This is a moral character issue as well as a pathological sickness.
As Peter explains in his first epistle, as Christians, if we are going to grow up into the fullness of our salvation, among other things, we are to stop pretending to be good, and be done with dishonesty, deception, and fraud, which are all various forms of lying.2
Unfortunately, many of us who wouldn't dare tell a lie verbally can act and live dishonestly. For example, when we consistently act one way outwardly but feel the opposite on the inside, we too, are living a lie. Some of us have done this for so long we have no idea that we are living in denial. In so doing, however, we cover our inward pain with a mask and pretend to be something that we are not. This is a killer of close relationships and intimacy, because we can only be loved and accepted to the degree that we are known. No matter how much people may "like" my mask, it will never make me feel loved because my mask isn't me. Closeness and intimacy can only come from being real, open, and honest.
And the kind of honesty God wants from all of us is honesty from the heart, which means to be genuine, real, and authentic as was Nathanael, one of Jesus' disciples who, when Jesus saw him "coming toward Him ... said of him, 'Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit [in whom there is nothing false]!'"3
To be continued ....
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be honest from the heart so that I will be known as one in whom there is no deceit and nothing false. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Ephesians 4:25 (NKJV).
2. See 1 Peter 2:1-2 in The Living Bible.
3. John 1:47 (NKJV).