“An honest witness tells the truth, but a false witness tells lies.”Proverbs 12:17 NIV
Isn’t being Truthful ultimately showing absolute respect for those you touch, for those you Love and interact with? Being Truthful can often be a daunting and difficult task.
So many times, we’re pulled towards the easy road of deceit and dishonesty. All the while convincing ourselves that a “Little White Lie” is the best thing to do. By not telling the truth, we are somehow being kind or saving others pain.
Sure, blurting out the Truth in certain situations can hurt. Is it wise to walk into a room and tell your spouse, “Wow, you’re really putting on weight!”? Is it the Truth? Does it hurt? Hurting is not born in Love. God is Love: All that we do not in Love, is not of God.
However, being dishonest when your spouse asks if they are putting on weight can bring its own hurt. Sometimes the question is a plea for help. Your answer is important in response to a request for Loving, Truthful advice. Do you hide behind the “White Lie” or, do you help?
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”Ephesians 4:29
When Jesus said that we should “Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Mark 12:31, wasn’t He telling us to put the needs of others above our needs, and to treat others as we want to be treated? Is honesty important to you? Do you want people to lie to you? Even small lies?
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”Romans 14:17
Hope is the beginning of Faith as Giving is a root of Love – Truth is at the Core of Righteousness. Dishonesty, on the other hand, is at the core of all Sin. From the Garden to today, deceit has been used to hurt and destroy loved ones, relationships, nations and cultures.
So many times, dishonesty feels like it can be beneficial. It’s not. We are being deceived into believing that hiding Truth, out of Love, will increase happiness, wealth and relieve the stress of the world.
It is at those times, when the temptation to deceive is strong; cloaked in benevolence, and what seems to be the easy path, we must turn to God for guidance. Shunning what feels to be the rational thinking and logic rattling in our brains, instead, we must listen to our Heart. It is there that we will hear that still, quiet voice of God. His voice will lead us to Truth and Love – guiding us toward the Kingdom of God.
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”John 14:16
Throughout my life in various companies and corporations, my Christian walk always led me to be honest – telling the Truth, even when it was extremely uncomfortable. The understanding that Truth is an act of Love, and, therefore, was from God, always seemed to be God’s guidance for my life: Except when it might hurt someone without any clear Blessing or benefit. Hurting is not of Love.
Through the years, God Blessed my candor and honesty. Oft times not immediately, usually years or decades later. Late in my career, my trustworthiness seemed to open doors to deep relationships with people that typically didn’t trust anyone. Those simple sacrifices of the immediate comfort of a white lie, planted seeds that only God could see at the time.
While there are so many examples of God’s Blessings and favor in my career, one that always comes to mind was when representing a technology company back in the eighties. The management team decided to hide a technology flaw from a new partner it was my honor to be managing at the time. A severe flaw in a new product we were negotiating.
As it turned out, my company had “bet the farm” on this new technology. If their new partner, a $40 Billion, Fortune 500 Company, found out, most thought they would cancel all launch plans for the product, and probably the partnership. If that happened, my company believed they would go out of business. So, the decision was made to hide the flaw. To their credit, the management team had already developed the plan to fix the problem and were going to provide it to our new partner at no charge.
Unfortunately, the fix would take six months to create and implement in the field. This move would cause untold problems for our partner and more importantly, their customers. There were no plans to resolve those problems nor compensate the end customer.
After a day full of meetings where the management team emphatically pleaded their case with me, including the threat of termination and extreme retaliation, my heart and head were deep in a battle. The drive home usually took around thirty minutes. On this day, it seemed to take days. All the time knowing the “right” thing to do, my mind was filled with the multitude of consequences. How would my family fair? Where would my next job come from? What about all those people at our company?
Aside from the management team, no one knew what was going on, nor had a part in the decision. Still, my decision could put them all out of work. The anxiety was intense. Taking it to God He reminded me… “You already know what to do.”
There was such peace in that understanding. The knowledge that my decision to be honest with our partner, was what God wanted me to do brought such comfort. Was there fear and doubt? Sure. All the while knowing that truth was an act of Love, helped me to keep my fear in check.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…”1 John 4:18
That night, calling my contact at our partner to explain, taught me so much about Truth, and how God Blesses those who sacrifice comfort for righteousness. My contact was calm and understanding. It felt unnatural for a business call of this type. Usually these kinds of calls were filled with angst, yelling and threats. Instead, together, we mapped out a plan to work through the issue. No one lost their jobs; contracts were not cancelled, and the partnership remained intact. The launch was simply trimmed back to allow for the fix to be implemented.
As for me, my trust in our management team was obliterated. There was no way for me to stay with a team that would even consider that kind of an action. With God’s guidance and patience, it was clear it was a time for change. Within six months God led me to a new company that was undoubtedly the best move of my career.
Two to three years after that phone call, my contact agreed to a million-dollar contract with my new company, simply because of me – he trusted me. That contract led to a business that eventually grew to over $500 million in revenues for his company. God’s Blessings couldn’t have been more obvious: Truth in and of itself is its own reward, and honesty will certainly bless your life and career. In my experience, honesty also leads to tangible blessings for all that honor the practice of Truth.
Reprinted with permission of God’s Good News Gazette
© God’s Good News Gazette 2019 – www.godsgoodnewsgazette.com