Honestly

Traveling through the Atlanta airport, I spotted a series of clever signs advertising a new hotel reservation website. Their shtick is based on honesty; they claim that other room booking websites have hidden fees, but their company is honest. The application of this marketing ploy is hilarious. The first sign to greet you as you descend the escalator toward the train reads:

“Nobody calls it Hotlanta. You’re Welcome.”

Truth. I lived here for 20 years, and locals never call it Hotlanta, as appropriate as that would be. Other signs were posted at the train. As you entered, one said, “Let the awkward silence begin.”

This one was my favorite:

Hahaha! That makes me laugh.

I know nothing about this company, but don’t you wish there was more honesty in general in the world? Like kindness, it seems to be in short supply these days.

Proverbs 11 New International Version (NIV)

11 The Lord detests dishonest scales,

    but accurate weights find favor with him.

2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace,

    but with humility comes wisdom.

3 The integrity of the upright guides them,

    but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

Take a gander at all the “d” words. Detests. Dishonest. Disgrace. Duplicity.

God hates dishonesty in any form. From little white lies to lying under oath, scripture assures us again and again that dishonesty leads to our peril. Notice how pride plays a part. When we boast and are full of ourselves, it is easy to inflate things to make ourselves look better. Humility, in contrast, is the foundation for wisdom. Honest wisdom.

And in every season, dishonesty leads to the destruction of society. From relationships to families to communities to countries, dishonesty will undo all the good work God planned for his creation. Think about what lying does to a marriage. Lying erodes trust, and when trust is gone, relationships crumble. The marriage fails and the family suffers. Duplicity will destroy us.

But God has a higher standard for us:

Ephesians 4 (NIV)

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.

15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Speaking the truth in love binds a couple, a family, a community, and a country together. It is a uniting force that combines to combat evil in every form that it takes. Truth has power. Truth defeats deceit. Truth unites us together with Christ. And in the end, truth always wins. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Jesus is truth.

So guard your mind today. And your tongue. It is so easy to slip into a lie, which begets another lie, which begets a life of deception. Mark your words, and hold them up to the lens of honesty, even in the little things. In this way, you will grow to become in every respect the mature reflection of Christ to the world.

And by so doing, we will change the world together, in truth and love. Honestly.

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