Honesty is very important to me. It’s probably at the top of my list of “Things that Will Keep Me in Your Life.” Without it, there is no point in engaging in relationship with someone. It’s pretty easy to point out the people in the public arena who are dishonest on purpose. A dishonest public life will earn you a bad reputation. (How many celebrities can you think of that have done this?)
More often than not, though, I am seeing something I like to call Personal Dishonesty (PD). It’s the initial spark that ignites the fiery chain reaction of widespread deceit. In essence, PD is telling ourselves a lie and then believing it to the point of acting on it.
PD trends that seem to plague our world:
I am ugly because my body is not like the model on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. I will starve myself until I look like her.
I am unimportant because my family doesn’t take the time to listen to me when I speak. I will stop speaking up and hide my feelings from everyone.
I am weak because I cry about everything, including Hallmark commercials. I must suffer from depression and need to take medication for the rest of my life.
I am a failure because I can’t find a good job. I will stop looking and just eat doughnuts and watch Netflix on the couch forever.
I am tainted goods because of what happened to me in my past. I will never get married so why even try to take care of my body and dress nicely?
Did you notice that each of these PD moments start with a thought that inevitably ends with a supporting course of action? It’s not hard to see then how our world has become wrought with external deception.Our scale of honesty is off balance due to false perceptions of ourselves.
We can’t even begin to be honest with those around us if we aren’t first honest with the one looking back at us in the mirror. The devil is called the father of lies for a reason, people. If he can get us to believe one little seemingly insignificant lie about ourselves, he can manipulate us into believing that a life of deception is acceptable. After all, it is the norm these days, right? (Again, take a look at Hollywood.)
Allow me to counter the list of common PD trends with some God-breathed truths. First, a necessary disclaimer: *These truths only turn into actions when we BELIEVE them.*
Counter-cultural truths to apply to our swindled souls:
I am beautiful because God says I am a masterpiece, made by His own hands, breathed into existence by His very breath. He saw His creation (you and me!) and He said, “It is good.” (Ephesians 2:10, Genesis 1)
I am valuable because God says His thoughts toward me are precious and too many to count! He has put His own words in my mouth so that I can speak life and love everywhere I go without fear of what someone else might think. (Psalm 139:17-18, Isaiah 51:16)
I am strong because God created me in His image and He is all powerful and mighty to save. This means I have power and might. In fact, the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives inside of me! (Psalm 147:5, Romans 8:11)
I am victorious because God has given me the ability to endure through hardship and not give up. He says that I am more than a conqueror through the unyielding love of Jesus. (Colossians 1:11, Romans 8:37)
I am made new through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The old days have been redeemed because of God’s amazing grace. He makes my face shine and never looks on me with shame. (2 Corinthians 5:17, Psalm 34:5)
Let’s start a revolution of honest living! Read the verses referenced above. Pray them out loud until your mind, will, and emotions accept the truth for what it really is–
The ONLY thing that can set you free.