Article: CAN WE TRULY BE HONEST? | Jacob Varghese

CAN WE TRULY BE HONEST? A business friend of mine once asked me, “Do you think it’s possible to be totally honest in our life today?” He continued to say, being honest is not always easy. Then he went on to explain that he didn’t purposely cheat anyone, but even when “negotiating” a sale the common practice was for the seller to begin at a price higher than desired, knowing that the buyer always started with a price lower than acceptable. As I considered his question, I realized what he had asked me must be a conscious thought on the hearts of many sincere Christians: “Can we truly be honest, and if so at what cost?” The entire human beings is hypocritical at one time or another, somehow this is our nature, as demonstrated by our history, actions, interpersonal relationships etc. There is perhaps not a single person who has not experienced hypocrisy at one time or another in life. The Bible is honest about life in this fallen world. For the Christian, the greatest testimony would be our fallen nature, which strives to do evil, while struggling with our new life in Christ. Being and living an honest Christian life should just be our nature. We, who have been saved by the Lord Jesus Christ, know the Scriptures should have no problem with honest living.

We wear nice clothes to church, with big smiles on our faces, carrying our Bibles; then after church we go out for brunch, sit down at the table and talk, criticize about the sermon, co- believers etc. Why do we do it when we know in our hearts we are doing wrong? This is when a person has two completely different views while acting on one behaviour and, at the same time, believing something quite different. This can be caused by stressful situations, being uncomfortable, and being unable to modify our beliefs to fit our situation. So we develop rationalizations by believing we are right because our beliefs are right, regardless of our actions. Hypocrisy is the biggest danger to those of us who have grown up in the church, who are so-called second generation Christians. If we grew up in a Christian home, attended church all of our lives, and even went to a Christian school, then we lived most of our lives in the Christian sub-culture, we can get in to the habit of playing the role of the Christian, and do not take a deeper ownership of faith, thus resulting in mixed messages we portray to those around us.

Jesus warns us of the danger of pretending and going through the motions of being a Christian, without earnestly living a life as a Christian is meant to. We must realize the danger we portray by living a double life. If we are all friendly and loving at church, genuinely seeking after each other with encouragement and care, but on Mondays go to work with contempt and a haughty attitude with our co-workers, then what are we doing? What are we expecting people to think, when we live a double life? When you ask someone, would you like to be a Christian, what are you in fact saying is, would you like to live alike me? So we must be careful in our daily actions, words, and deeds; about how we tell someone about the Lord.

Don’t ever believe that our performances are realities; people will see right through us. There are times when we have bad days, when we will make mistakes, after all we are human, and we cannot be perfect all the time. So when we make mistakes be up front about it, be willing to apologize, give in and go to the people you intentionally or unintentionally hurt and make up with them. This honesty is a sign of God’s love. Being honest means choosing not to lie, steal, cheat, or deceive in any way. When we are honest, we build strength of character that will allow us to be of great service to God and to others. Honesty is closely associated with integrity. Integrity means thinking and doing what is right at all times no matter what the consequences are. The New Testament echoes this when it connects honesty and truthfulness with the Christians new life in Christ (Col. 3:9).

Be honest with God, yourself, in the family, others in the church and in the secular world. Do not rationalize that being dishonest is acceptable, even though others may think “It does not matter”. Are you willing to live by the Christian standards and beliefs even when no one is watching? Choose to live so that your thoughts, actions and behaviour are always in harmony with the gospel.



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