Tough Questions and Easy Answers
We’ve all had one; a question whose honest answer will bring anger, judgment, embracement, or hurt to someone we love. “Does this look good on me” when it really doesn’t. “Do you think she’s pretty?” When you really do. “Do you think I did the right thing” when you really don’t. It’s at these moments when a little white lie seems like our best friend.
The fact is, honesty is fine when it doesn’t cost us anything. But, when the answer is difficult, it seems easier to withhold certain details, deflect answers, ignore the question, bend the facts, or downright lie to avoid the consequences of the truth.
Abram (aka Abraham) from the Bible faced a very similar situation in Genesis, chapter 12. It’s comforting to know that “Bible people” struggled with the same things we do.
Read Genesis 12:10-20
- Do you think you would have responded in the same way? Why or why not?
- How do you think this affected Abram’s integrity and reputation among the Egyptians?
The Truth Can Be Pricey
The truth will often cost you something. What makes it even harder is that the benefits of honesty aren’t often immediately seen or felt. Anyone who has ever told the truth when confronted by his/her parents has discovered this. The truth doesn’t sidestep the punishment.
Read Luke 19:1-10
- What did choosing to be honest cost Zaccheus?
- What did he gain through his honesty?
- Think about a similar circumstance from your own life. Do you wish you would have responded differently? Are you glad you responded the way you did?
The book of Proverbs says a lot about honesty. Solomon (the author of most of them) was a man of wisdom who experienced both sides of honesty. Over time he learned the cost of honesty as he morally, financially and spiritually compromised and his kingdom declined. Later in his life, he lends his wisdom to us concerning honesty:
- What does it mean to “walk securely?” Should that be a goal for us who follow Christ? What are some ways our faith helps us to walk securely, even when it costs us?
- Why do you think dishonest people “will not go free?”
- How does honesty at all times free us? How does dishonesty put us into bondage?
Honesty was made for all circumstances and situations. It’s not always easy and it’s not without its consequences but it is always what honors God in the long term.
- What is one truth you need to share with someone this week that is going to hurt?
- What do you need to do this week to find the courage to be honest?
- »The Invitation, December 26-30, 2011
- »One More Thing . . ., December 19-23, 2011
- »He is the Healer
- »I’ve Got It Under Control
- »Parenting is a Verb—Choosing to be a Great Parent
- »Being a Great Mate
- »Lifelong Partners: Choosing Wisely
- »Locking Arms
- »Putting in the Hard Work
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