Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)
When I was young, my family lived in Vermont. I was best friends with the boy who lived next door, and I announced to my parents that we were going to get married and build a house in between. Obviously that didn’t work out. My sisters and I got in all sorts of trouble and drove my mother a little crazy with 4 little ones at home. My younger sister held a graham cracker down in the toaster until it caught on fire. And one day at the store, my other sister and I grabbed a shiny orange pack of tic-tacs when my mom wasn’t looking. We snuck them home and hid them under the bed. That night we nervously got them out and each snuck a tic tack… right as my mom walked in. The look on her face made me want to cry and hide. But the next day was harder… she made us go back to the store with money and give it to the manager after saying we stole the tic tacs. I was so embarrassed that I still remember it, over 30 years later.
That day I learned the importance of being honest. At least about tic tacs and taking things from the store without paying for them. Looking at it now, it’s pretty simple right? Pretty black and white? Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness. These are written clearly in the 10 Commandments. But it pointed the way towards a greater law, a greater sacrifice. The Law of Moses was fulfilled and expanded when Jesus came to earth. When the Savior came, he gave us the two great commandments, in Mark 12:30-31 “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength… And the second… Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
So how does this relate to honesty? Sometimes things are not so black and white. I believe that we will choose to be honest because of faith, hope and love. Later as I grew up, we moved to New York. I was so lonely. I felt like a failure at making friends. In middle school I would hide and cry. If my parents asked me, I said I was fine. I thought if I said the truth, that would mean admitting that I was failing at making friends. I thought faking being fine was better than having my parents look at me like I’m pathetic. So I never told them. I was so sad, and I bore it all myself. Now I know I should have said something. They would have reached out to me with love. Being honest means that we are free of deceit, that we choose to show the truth. Do we choose to show our true thoughts and feelings? Do we use little lies to try to shape the way the world sees us? Do our friends and family know the true us? Maybe we have been punished by anger or rejection or loneliness in the past. Maybe we found it easy to avoid consequences by avoiding the truth. Sometimes it feels easier to say what we think people want to hear. But that is not honest and we can feel trapped.
It comes back to faith, hope and love. Some people may still reject us but we have hope in Christ. We can feel of His love. When we choose to walk with the Savior, He will help us bear our burdens. We can have faith in Him. We can have a bit of faith in ourselves that we can handle saying the truth. Does it take courage? You bet. Does it require extra work on our part sometimes? Yes. Can we handle it? Yes we can!
Insight and Inspiration
I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Do you have faith that you will be ok when sharing your truth? If you admit your mistakes, do you worry if people will still accept you? Can you let that rest in God’s hands?