Do you know that feeling of relief you get when you just tell someone the truth?
“Be honest” is one of the few rules I have for my tutoring clients. I’d rather a child tell me they didn’t turn in their homework than to lie to me about the teacher losing it. Being honest allows us to get to the heart of the matter, such as lack of motivation or feeling overwhelmed at the amount of overdue work. Honesty is a character trait that we should strive for, but we also need to strive to create relationships that cultivate honest conversations.
Being honest is hard work but being known as a person of integrity adds much to your character. We tend to want to hide the truth when things are not going as planned or when we think we will disappoint people. Being honest in a relationship builds trust. Our homes, offices, and classrooms can be spaces where it’s safe to tell the truth. Spaces where we reach out to one another. Where telling the truth is honored and help and hope is offered. Spaces where condemnation and criticism drip from the lips of those in attendance do not value integrity or offer hope. Those are the places that make our stomach clench.
I can think back to situations where my children or students were trapped in a lie they had told and I was just waiting for them to tell the truth. It harms a relationship and breaks trust when lies are told. I knew that once they chose to tell the truth, we could begin to mend the relationship and the situation.
The Bible says in Proverbs 11:3 that “Honesty guides good people; dishonesty destroys treacherous people.” Be honest with yourself. Are you someone who is guided by your honesty or someone who is known for your dishonesty?
Table talk: Is your home, office, or classroom a safe place for people to be honest? Do people consider you a trustworthy and truth telling person?