Are Openness and Honesty The Same?
The Best Policy
Which is best: openness or honesty? The answer may be determined by the situation and timing. Openness is not necessarily the same as honesty.
Others believe that honesty is the best policy, but I think God would rather us be honest, not because it is the best policy, but because we are honest people!
Some people believe if they know something they must reveal it to everyone in order to be honest. Thinking about the truth in your heart is not the same as telling everyone everything you know! Just because you know something in your mind, does not mean it is public information. Some live as though they are not honest if they do not tell everything they know. Personally, I am glad that everyone does not know what everyone else is thinking!
Can you imagine walking around all week with a video screen attached to your brain that showed everyone what you were thinking? I don’t think too many people would leave their home! If everyone saw everything God sees, there would be a much higher crime rate!
If you walk in the Spirit with honesty, integrity of heart, uprightness, and truthfulness–what comes out of your mouth will proceed from a heart that is walking in the Spirit. When that happens you will be glad to share with people and they will be glad to hear the truth from your life.
Our world views honesty and truthfulness completely different than how God reveals it in the Scripture. How many times have you heard people say these things?
1. “Honest to God!” In other words, we are attempting to convince others that what we are about to say is right.” We say, “Honest to God, this is the truth” as though we must convince them we are honest.
2. “Cross my heart.” Another words, “Really, you need to believe me.”
3. In our wedding vows people say, “I do.” In our day we ask, “For how long?” Does this really mean truth, or not, when using these terms?
4. “I swear on my mother’s grave.”
5. “I will pray for you.” Many times we forget what their request was and we never follow through.
We become accustomed to using clichés in our life for the purpose of attempting to convince other people that we truly are honest people. When you speak, think, or act, you reveal the condition of your spirit. But do we really need to reveal our spirit all of the time? Is there a time that we need to conceal, instead of reveal?
The World’s Examples of Honesty
Here are some thoughts on the subject from the world’s perspective.
1. “Always tell the truth even if you have to make it up.”
2. Samuel Goldwin said, “I don’t want yes men around me. I want everyone to tell the truth even if it costs him or her his or her jobs.”
3. The modern day philosopher, Groucho Marx said, “The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”
4. Will Rogers made some classic statements. He said, “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket.” He also said, “Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back.”
There does not seem to be much integrity of heart in the world concerning truthfulness and honesty. Many have an odd idea of what truth and honesty really means.
Christian thinking does not mean that if you are a Christian and you also have the ability to think, then your thinking is Christian.
True Christian thinking is centered around the truth of God’s Word. The Bible becomes your guide to thinking, not what you want the Bible to say! Having your mind centered on the truth of God’s Word results in a mind that is penetrated by truth. A person who walks uprightly in righteousness, integrity of heart, and truth, lives according to God’s Word, not their best human thinking. The truth based on the biblical standard can be shared with impact no matter where you go, whom you are talking to, or what culture is present.
So, what will you do with this information? The challenge for all of us is to walk in integrity of heart with God and then you will have a much greater possibility of influencing people to walk in the same way. God will help you know when to reveal a thought or when to conceal your thinking.
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