At the time of writing this I’ve been reminded of the importance of honesty and transparency. I know that we all know this to some degree. When Christian leader after christian leader, family member after family member, public figure after public figure get found out for the discrepancies of their private life, this truth is even more convincing. What is this truth?
Your private life will inevitably and ultimately be displayed in and through your public life.
What I mean is that no matter how much you try cover up your past or the shameful things that you have been doing, it will eventually come out in the wash. Whether you have broken a friends toy in primary school or have a secret addiction, you will be found out. The reality is that when you get found out you often cannot control who knows and what they know. It is always best to confess and be honest with the people that matter.
Here are 5 reasons why:
1. The damage is worse when you aren’t forthcoming
When you aren’t the one breaking the news you are often broken by the news. If you find yourself in a position of moral or ethical failure and you be the big person it takes to admit your failings it builds trust and demonstrates integrity. If you don’t come clean your race is against time until someone finds out that you are a fraud. People would always prefer to follow someone who is authentic and broken than someone who is fake and perfect.
2. The healing process is prolonged
You won’t be able to take steps to redeem your wrong doing until it has been brought into the light. If you have wronged someone and they don’t know it yet, it is only a matter of time till they do. Once they have discovered your mistake/s then can you begin working through a healing process. However until that point your shortcomings will form a wedge in the relationship.
3. Truth creates a bond, lies separate people
A relationship that isn’t build on truth isn’t a relationship. In fact, truth is the only foundation for a healthy relationship. Could you imagine being married to someone said that every Thursday night they were with their friends playing pool, only to find out one day that they never had spent even one Thursday with their friends? Sure it is only one Thursday night a weak, however once you have been lied to once you lose trust in everything they say. What else have they lied about? What were they doing Thursdays? How do I really know this person? Lies will eventually tear any relationship apart if they aren’t replaced with confession, truth and forgiveness.
4. Hiding from the truth is more taxing than living a lie
I’m a terrible lier, maybe that is just me. I can’t keep a straight face. I can’t play it cool and most importantly I’m not smart enough. When I bought Kels, my wife, a present for her birthday I tried, to make it a surprise. Hide it from her. So I lied. I had a supposed “meeting” when I went shopping. I had to think about what meeting it was, why I was doing it, who was involved in it. I had to tee up people to vouch for me. I had to figure out ways for Kels not to see our bank account. I had to avoid awkward conversations about what she would want for her birthday. As you have probably seen by now one lie has led to further lies. It’s hard work and requires ninja like skills.
5. Living in truth is how we have been created
The reality is that we are created to live truthfully. This is how we function best. This is naturally why relationships thrive of the truth. The great issue of the world is that unnatural sin (rebellion against God and its consequence) enters history and creates unhealthy relationships. It starts with believing a simple lie about God, then results in lying to God and people. The good news in the gospel is that the “Truth” (John 1:14b; 14:6) came and dwelt among us in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free… So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:32; 36). Jesus both says that he is the “Truth” and the “Son” who will forgive our brokenness and liberate us from the burden of lies.
As I said earlier, your private life will inevitably and ultimately be displayed in and through your public life. Life a life of honesty.