Monday, December 11, 2017

Honesty: the struggle is real

Back in October, I was supposed to give a talk to children about honesty.  It never happened, but here is the main verse in that talk: Proverbs 24:26, An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.

The idea is that usually if you love someone, you kiss them on the lips.  If you give an honest answer, that must mean you love that person.

But then I think, I don't kiss everyone on the lips.  In fact, I only kiss one person on the lips: Tim.  I'm married to him and can do that.  Usually, you only save a lip kiss for someone you intend to marry or are married to or have a romantic relationship with.  You are making yourself vulnerable to betrayal and heartbreak.

So, if you don't kiss everyone on the lips, do you give everyone an honest answer?  You must be truthful with everyone yes.  The Lord commands us to not bear false witness.  But just like you don't run around naked in public, you also don't have to reveal everything lest it be used against you.  Be wise with who you tell the truth to.

For example, it is true that I did not give this talk like planned.  But what only a handful of people know is why it got cancelled.  Even fewer know the finer details of that.  And knowing the conundrum I'm having with this verse, it's just as well. 

But in the long run, you must be truthful and loving to everyone you meet, even at risk to yourself and your emotions.  You won't get close to people otherwise.  Just how much you reveal takes much prayer and maybe advice from someone you trust.  It's hard for me to be close to people for that very reason.  I don't know the difference of being truthful and telling too much.  But I'm not alone in that struggle.  How do you go around with that balance?

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