On Sunday, we finished our series on Honesty. One of the things that I love about what I do is, I am always learning and find myself challenged by what I am teaching. Every month that I teach a series, I find myself working really hard on that particular virtue. For example, this month I found myself several times asking myself, “was what I just said completely honest?” To further the point: a couple of times, the answer was no (come on, no one is perfect).
Recently, I watched part of a movie called “The Invention of Lying” (I would not recommend watching it. It was not great, and was filled with questionable material-hence I only watched part of it). The premise of the movie is that everyone is completely honest, and there has not been a lie told-ever. So one day, the main character goes into the bank and realizes that he can tell the bank teller something that was not true, and as a result the bank teller believed him and corrected the “problem”. Now that this guy has discovered the power of lying, he tries it everywhere he goes.
I bring this up for two reasons: first of all, one byproduct of honesty is trust. What would the world like if everyone was honest? There would be no stealing, no identity fraud, people would not cheat others out of money, criminal investigations would go so much fast and smoother, and there would never be a reason to doubt what anybody says. We could elect our officials and know exactly what we are getting. Imagine if that was our reality!
Every time we are honest with people, we build trust, every time we are not honest, we destroy the trust we build. Unfortunately, building trust takes twice as long as it takes to destroy it, even longer each time you have to rebuild.
The other reason I bring this up, because I am fascinated by how we hide behind lies, and we don’t ever realize it. We could get to know one another so much better if we are completely honest. In the movie, (remember everyone is completely honest) the main character has a suicidal neighbor. When the guy sees his neighbor, he asks the standard, “How are you?” and the guy answers honestly. How many times have you hid behind a standard, “I’m fine, how are you?” when you are aching inside from something you are going through? Honesty helps us to get to know one another better.
I would encourage you to try to go a whole day being completely honest. Even down to answering, “how are you?” type questions. Tell me how it goes, and I’ll try it too.