Thoughts on Honesty

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Thoughts on Honesty

“Honesty is more than not lying.  It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.”

-James E. Faust

People think of honesty as simply not lying to another person, and while this is honesty, it does not fully reflect what true honesty is.  There are levels to honesty.  We are honest with others, but are we honest with ourselves?  What about those “little white lies” we tell?  If we continue to ask questions like this, we eventually see that we may not be as honest as we think we are.  In the movie Liar Liar Jim Carrey plays an attorney whose son has made a wish that he can no longer tell lies.  The movie is a comedy, but it does a good job of highlighting the amount that we actually do lie in our day to day lives.  Husbands dread that age old question: “Honey, does this outfit make me look fat?”  Marriages everywhere have been saved and conflict avoided by a simple white lie in response to that and similar questions.  While this is a relatively innocuous example of dishonesty, the examples escalate from there.  People cover up mistakes by lying and sometimes make up for their own shortcomings or inadequacies by creating excuses rather than working to solve the actual problem.  Deceit can destroy relationships and topple careers.  However, perhaps the most dangerous type of deceit happens when we lie to ourselves.  I can’t tell you how many times I have managed to lie to myself.  One of the greatest areas of self-deception for me is related to my weight and health.  It is amazing how you can be in pretty good shape and then in what feels like a matter of days you wake up to have gained a bunch of weight with your clothes not fitting any more.  You look at yourself in the mirror and think: “How in the world did this happen?”  Somehow we manage to tell ourselves that one more cheeseburger won’t hurt or that last slice of pizza will be fine, but eventually it ends up not being fine.  Sometimes we deceive ourselves because we don’t want to see something about ourselves that is unpleasant.  However, the thing that we are trying to avoid that is unpleasant is usually either a warning of the need for change or something that will actually help us to grow if we do not avoid it.  Yet we as people have a pretty strong resistance to pain and so we continue to avoid the thing we are not facing not realizing that we are causing ourselves more pain by virtue of our self -deception.  Growth, recovery, healing, and a move towards wholeness begin with honesty.-

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