Honesty is a character quality that accurately lives out truth; when spoken it should be done with tact (love and gentleness) and at the appropriate time. To avoid offence, some things are best left unsaid or kept for another time. Honesty is the best and safest policy. Consider the outcomes of these deceptions: Jacob stealing Esau’s blessing, King Saul’s disobedience, Ananias and Sapphira lying to the Holy Spirit (Gen 27:41-45; 1 Sam 15:26; Act 5:1-11).
Pretending, deception and covering up don’t pay in the long term whereas integrity and truth do.
False statements or lies may bluff others for a time. However God, who hates dishonesty, always knows the truth and often others find out too, bringing humiliation and damage to the character of the person who tried to deceive (Deut 25:13-16; Ps 101:7; Prov 12:13). Don’t exaggerate the truth to make a good story; accountability to others and verifiable facts are safeguards.
Is there something dishonest that I need to repent of?
defraud others, rather “Be careful to do what is right in the sight of everyone” (Ex 23:8; Eccl 7:7; Rom 12:17; 2 Cor 8:21). Do not be involved in any shady business dealings, or ‘modify’ transactions for personal advantage (Lev 19:35,36). Integrity, built up over time, can quickly be lost through a wrong decision or action.
While strong and immediate reactions to life’s challenges can easily become hurtful words or wrong actions if unwisely expressed towards others, we can express our feelings plainly and honestly to God in prayer (Job 7:11). He is all knowing (omniscient). He enables us to gain an eternal perspective on the situation and then we can deal constructively with those strong emotions – firstly dealing with our own attitudes, then if appropriate and when in control of ourselves, we can confront those involved to remedy the situation.
Paul tells his readers to judge themselves honestly with a correct appraisal – not too high indicating pride or too low implying poor self-worth (Rom 12:3).
See also: bribes, cheating, fairness, genuine, half-truth, integrity, lying, truth.