WHAT IS THE BEST ANSWER YOU COULD GIVE SOMEONE?

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“An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.” (Proverbs 24:26 NIV)

Honest answers are the best answers.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines honest:  Upright; just; fair in dealing with others; free from trickiness and fraud; acting and having the disposition to act at all times according to justice or correct moral principles; applied to persons. 

Honesty isn’t easy.

As a dog walker, people trust me.  A few years ago, one of my clients changed their normal time.  Instead of 12:00 p.m. as usual, they asked me to wait until 3:00 p.m.  “No problem,” was my answer.  However, I completely forgot to go.  Typically, my afternoons are my study time for school.  I was working on a project, lost all track of time.  Around 6:00 p.m. that evening, I realized what I had done.   Praying for mercy, I texted my clients and told the truth.  Their response surprised me.  They thanked me for my honesty and forgave me; they said it was hard to find honest people these days.  

Honest people are hard to find.

Being honest is difficult, especially when it comes to ourselves.  The person we tend to lie to most is ourselves.  For me, I don’t even realize the lies I tell myself, but other people do.  People can see the lies we believe better than we can.  Getting honest with ourselves is the first step to honesty with others.

For me to tell my clients the truth, I had to admit my irresponsibility.  Priding myself on my work ethic is something I have always done; when I falter, it’s difficult for me to accept.  But accepting the truth helps us move forward.  Thinking about it now, I remember how difficult it was for me to send the initial text admitting my wrongdoing.  But the freedom in telling the truth is worth the momentary uncomfortableness.  No one is perfect; we can’t expect it out of anyone, including ourselves.

Honesty helps us stay humble.

Telling the truth is humbling.  Admitting to my clients, I had failed humbled me.  And the incident grew my grace muscle.  As others forgave me, they set an example to help me forgive others.  In humility, we serve others best.

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” (Galatians 5:13 NIV)

Honesty allows us to serve others humbly in love.

When someone you love is struggling, and you don’t know what to do, admit it.  Don’t try to have all the answers for them; instead, acknowledge that you don’t.  Ask them how you can best serve them.   Pray specifically for their needs, let God do the heavy lifting

Answer honestly, it’s better than anything else you can do.

Question of the Day:

How honest are you with yourself and others?

Further Reading: Jeremiah 6:16-8:7 NIV, Colossians 2:8-23 NIV, Psalm 78 NIV, Proverbs 24:26 NIV

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