We have all lied. If you are about to say not me, well…? You know that story that got stretched a bit when you told it. Not to intentionally deceive but to make it more interesting or maybe to paint me in a better light. That one is particularly easy when you are telling about the way someone has wronged you. They get meaner and you get more righteous. Someone recently told me a politician just could not tell the truth. Quote, “Everything he said was a lie.”

Is hyperbole a lie? I’m pretty sure that the guy who said that to me did not mean that “EVERYTHING” this person said was a lie. Have I ever claimed such a thing? There are a lot of political office holders that seem to me to be intentionally deceptive. I wonder if I have ever given them and “EVERYTHING?” I know that I said, “Well he is a politician, and his lips were moving.” I was trying not to get into a political debate, was I lying when I made that exaggerated and common proclamation?

It is not as simple as it seems. God’s prohibition against lying.

It could change people’s conversations a lot. Can an honest answer still be the proverbial, “kind word that turns away wrath?” I find myself attempting to find delicate ways to disagree, at least not to assent to a person’s assertion when I disagree. I guess I should have said to my friend, “No one lies all the time.” (That was easier when you have a little time to reflect.)

I’m committed to speaking more truthfully. It’s been hard. I try not to use words like always, and never. They seem unlikely to be true.

It’s not as simple as it seems. God’s prohibition against lying.

I definitely see its value. I want people to be truthful with me, (as long as they are nice too). It makes relationships easier when you don’t have to guess. I think that God intended honesty to be the relational bedrock for us all.

I happened to be in BestBuy recently talking to a salesperson about phones. (Brenda’s is dead. RIP) The guy was awesome. As far as I could tell he was shooting straight, telling us what he liked and disliked about the phones on display. He did not try to up-sale us or direct us to anything but our best choice. (Or BestBuy maybe.) I walked out of the store with his name and the full intent to ask for him next time I need a phone.

If honesty can build a relationship with a salesperson in a matter of minutes, what might it do for our family, our work, our friends, or our church relationships?

Last, how honest am I with God? It’s a funny thought. If God already knows everything, why do I try to put on my best face for Him? What would full disclosure do to my prayer life? I bet it would make my prayers more interesting to listen to. I think God might smile and say, “finally”.

In my annual read through the Bible, I have been with David a bit lately. For all his troubles the man prayed openly. Psalm 51 is a favorite – David has had a horrific moral fall and he goes to God and writes out his prayer. “Against You and You only have I sinned and done this evil in Your sight.” Then he publishes it! I’m pretty sure I’m not doing that. But being straight with God could be big.

Honesty is honestly, the best policy.

 

Walt