Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, November 29, 2016
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).
Honesty really is the best policy.
At a time when integrity seems to be an endangered species and truth is a rare commodity, honesty is also falling by the wayside. Most of all, we are becoming less honest with ourselves about ourselves.
To illustrate the difficulty this poses, I would like to direct your attention to Shakespeare’s Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 78–82 where Polonius speaks the following timeless words along with a truism seldom quoted:
“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
Did you get that? Not only is it critical to be truthful to oneself, but it also facilitates honesty with others. Pride and self-deception fuels broken relationships.
- I think of myself more highly than I ought.
- I have conveniently forgotten that I have said hurtful things.
- When someone says something offensive to me, I have a greater risk of being harsh toward that person.
- I forget that I had a lying problem when I was young,
- I will be at greater risk of losing my cool if my son or daughter lies to me.
- I tell myself I am not guilty of some certain sin.
- God has clearly revealed it to me.
- I will not confess my agreement with Him and thus be forgiven.
Honesty with self often facilitates good relationships with God and fellow earthlings.
Today, the message is almost too elementary, but we all need it: Tell the truth to self and others, and open the door to healing, forgiveness, patience, justice, and holiness.