Webster defines honesty as “free from fraud or deception.” This means more than merely refraining from lying. Distorting facts to place the emphasis on another idea rather than the real issue is bearing false witness. To conceal truth that should be revealed is to be dishonest. Expressing one view while secretly holding another is deception. If, in any detail of life, we say anything untrue, or if we purposely create a wrong impression, we are not being honest.
A woman told me that as a youngster she occasionally was guilty of deceit. One incident that she had never confessed still trouble her after 35 years. She had playfully inserted pins in a bar of soap, not realizing the danger. Later her mother was severely scratched while washing her hands. Her brother, being rather mischievous, was blamed and was punished, even though he loudly proclaimed his innocence. She knew of many times when he had been guilty of wrongdoing and was not caught, so she figured he deserved to be punished. She had not actually spoken a lie, because her mother never questioned her. Yet she had been dishonest.
Are we always honest, or have we in some way been deceptive and never confessed our sin? God delights in those who are truthful in all things. – Henry G. Bosch
When others view our lives today,
Our honesty is on display;
Lord, help us point the way to you
By doing what is right and true. – J. David Branon
There are no degrees of honesty.
– August 30, 1990, Our Daily Bread