a new way: honesty

I find myself thinking lately that I would like to try to be honest  all of the time. I’m not, you know. I tell lies. Little lies.  I omit the truth. I act like things are okay when they’re not. I don’t always give my honest opinion. I don’t always tell the truth. I sometimes change the subject if I am not comfortable with the true answer that I want to give.

So I’ve been thinking, what would change if I started answering things honestly all the time?  For one thing, I couldn’t cover for myself like I sometimes do.  I couldn’t try to make people feel comfortable with even a bit of untruth.  I wouldn’t have to stick to the stupid rule that’s been ingrained in me (by whom, I do not know, but it’s in me and has been in me for years) to be polite and bite your tongue. And I would make the rule for myself that I couldn’t use honesty as a shield. For example, sometimes people are so blatant and outspoken with the obvious that they tend to use that as a way to deflect conversation or relationships from becoming to real about themselves. I don’t want to use honesty. I want to be honest. I want to become more of my real self.

Now, I wouldn’t always have to speak out loud.  Sometimes my silence would be my honesty. And I don’t believe that honesty has to be always harsh.  It may at times be harsh, but really, honesty is soul-searching and pure and often it’s gently or kindly spoken – the truth may feel like a freight train hitting you – but the one who brings that truth in honesty isn’t themselves the freight train! (sometimes I think I am guilty of thinking I need to be the freight train hitting someone with the truth and that’s just not always the case). It may make me or others uncomfortable.  It may ruin a few situations with discomfort or offense.  So… I’ll let you know if I decide to embark on this.  If I do it’ll be interesting and probably more of an uncovering of my dishonesty and fear of being known than others dishonesty.

**Just sort of as a footnote, sitting here thinking about being honest on the internet, on my blog, on facebook, it’s funny. I would talk about things like sex a bit more, which would no doubt make the most Christian of Christians out there a bit uncertain about either my salvation or my motivations.  I would not let fear get in the way of stating what I need to state.  I believe that I have a responsibility to share things from my heart but also to keep things that may be damaging to myself if the time or the place or my attitude is not right.  YET… yet…I sometimes hide behind those Judeo Christian things because I have been taught to.  Sometimes I wonder whether God may be just as pleased with an honest angry question or scream or lashing as He is with a humble heart.  I don’t know… but those things (and many other things) come to mind when I let my thoughts wander around honesty).

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2 thoughts on “a new way: honesty

  1. Shan – I appreciate your HONESTY here (wink). Sincerely. I remember Gaz’s first trip to see us in the Savannah and thinking, “Dang, this guy doesn’t hold back! He talks about some seriously taboo stuff (racism, shite in the “church”, sex, etc.) and calls us out on our B.S.” It was really shocking and refreshing and good for my heart.

    One phrase regarding honesty has rung true for me… “Major in the MAJOR things and not the MINOR ones.” I think that when we let our “soft underbelly of secrets” show, we are majoring in the MAJOR things… getting to the heart of the matter. And it can only better our relationships (with others AND ourselves), with God, with our families and communities. In fact, this exposes my current dishonesty with my family… my fear to communicate Hard Things in order to grow New Things in our relationships.

    Brennan Manning is another Honest Man that comes to mind… he let it all hang out – all the ugliness and shame – in “Raggamuffin Gospel”. I appreciate, respect, and NEED that fresh water of HONESTY in my life.

    Shan, I think you get to the root of it when you say, ” I don’t want to USE honesty. I want to BE honest. I want to become more of my real self.” I want to be REAL as well – transparent and true. This will turn off scores of people, but will draw folks to us as well. Thank you for challenging me and helping me see my hypocracies and falsehoods… Now, for that Breastplate of Truth. Love you, friend!

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