In Others’ Words: Honesty

Honesty is one of my key values.

That hasn’t always been true.

In the past, I was all about being less-than-honest with myself. Ignoring the truth. Sometimes I shoved the brutal truth in a closet, slammed the door shut, turned my back on the banging and kicking and screaming — Hey! Open this door! — and walked away.

The essence of honesty is truth. We like to think of truth as something … beautiful. But as God walked me through a dryer-than-talc desert time in my life, I learned a bitter lesson: Sometimes there’s no prettying-up truth. This realization hit me during the Christmas season — one where the “Joy to the world” rang hollow. I remember writing in my journal: Sometimes you can’t drape truth in tinsel to dress it up. Sometimes truth is just plain, ugly truth.

At least I was being honest with myself.

And embracing that ugly but honest truth, letting it be, was a step of healing for me. One of many to come … but a step.

In Your Words: Honesty is one of my values. What’s one of yours?

 

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26 Comments

  1. February 6, 2013, 5:40 am   /  Reply

    Beth, I loved this post and your description of “truth.” “Honesty” is one of the values I think our society struggles with the most. Sometimes, if we fool ourselves too long, we think that makes something true, when of course, it doesn’t.

    I think one of my values is “kindness.” I try to treat people as I would like to be treated. And when things don’t quite go as expected, I’ve learned to take the high road. Not always successful at it, but I do try.

    • Beth Vogt
      February 6, 2013, 7:11 am   /  Reply

      Cynthia,
      Thanks for joining the conversation today.
      And you’re right — kindness is not always greeted with kindness in return. The choice comes down to staying true to our values, no matter what.
      And I see kindness reflected in your life, in both your words and actions.

  2. February 6, 2013, 7:09 am   /  Reply

    I can be Jim Carey honest sometimes. (Liar Liar.)

    I value faithfulness and integrity.
    ~ Wendy

    • February 6, 2013, 9:36 am   /  Reply

      Faithfulness and integrity — two values that are woven together, Wendy.

  3. February 6, 2013, 7:10 am   /  Reply

    I appreciate honesty too and try to give it. One of my values is compassion. I’m not always successful in this, but I want to really see how others are struggling and do everything in my power to care for them and show them Jesus loves them.

    • February 6, 2013, 9:36 am   /  Reply

      Lindsay,
      Compassion truly does reflect Jesus to a hurting world, doesn’t it?

  4. Jeanne T
    February 6, 2013, 7:10 am   /  Reply

    Beautiful words and true thoughts. Thank you for your transparency. Honesty is definitely one of my values, along with grace. Giving grace to others is important, in part because I need others to give it to me. 🙂

    • February 6, 2013, 9:37 am   /  Reply

      I appreciate your honesty too, Jeanne.

  5. February 6, 2013, 7:58 am   /  Reply

    Beth, it’s your perfect word choices that deliver this vital message so well. Except, when surrounded by many people who were afraid, I convinced myself I wasn’t and went ahead and met the challenge anyway. And you know what? It usually worked.

    My highest value? Probably loyalty, and being positive & encouraging–not negative.

    • February 6, 2013, 9:38 am   /  Reply

      You are a loyal person, Dee — and to so, so many people all over the world.
      (… oh the people you’ll see …)
      😉

  6. February 6, 2013, 8:03 am   /  Reply

    Honesty is a bottom line value for me. When someone lies to me or to others to cover their derriere, it removes the trust I need for relationship.

    • February 6, 2013, 9:38 am   /  Reply

      Got your back on this one, Scoti.
      😉

  7. February 6, 2013, 8:59 am   /  Reply

    I love what you wrote in your journal, and quite frankly I’ve been dealing with some ugly truth about myself. So I needed this post.

    Integrity. It’s so important to me. It’s something I admire greatly in my husband, but in anyone.

  8. February 6, 2013, 9:39 am   /  Reply

    Jess,
    I’ve scribbled lots of things in my journals over the years, but that line has stayed with me, echoing back again and again.
    May God transform the ugly truth into something beautiful …

  9. February 6, 2013, 9:42 am   /  Reply

    One of my values is time…I love it when a friend or family members makes an effort to spend time with me. It just feels so good…makes me want to be more cognizant of how I spend time.

    • February 6, 2013, 1:20 pm   /  Reply

      Time as a value … I like that, Melissa. I really, really do.

  10. Elaine Clampitt
    February 6, 2013, 10:22 am   /  Reply

    I value female friendships. I spent too many years thinking I only had time for my family and church, etc. and neglected female relationships. Of course, now that my kids are grown it’s easier to make that a priority. 🙂 Still, it is something that requires effort and I’m thankful for the women that God has brought into my life in this “empty nest” season.

    • February 6, 2013, 1:21 pm   /  Reply

      I’ve always told my daughters: You need your girlfriends.
      And I’m thrilled to see they have strong friendships in their lives — and that they are each others’ friends, too.

  11. February 6, 2013, 10:45 am   /  Reply

    Loyalty.

    I think this comes from losing so much family at such a young age. My bio-father cheated on my mother. She went home to her (truly awful) mother and (not always awful) father. As little children, our world was torn in two. Almost everyone on his side was gone. POOF. His family was warned, by a shotgun, not to come calling.
    All we had were grandparents, an uncle and we’d see Mom most weekends.

    So you can bet that if someone says “I will never leave you”, to me, they’d better mean it.
    I value loyalty and trust very, VERY much.

    But I have been duped, and duped well.
    Jesus said to turn the other cheek. To forgive 70 X 7. To love those who hate us.
    I understand that. I try to practice that. Even with the bio-dad. He sinned 48 years ago. He’s had a lifetime of wondering what we look like. Of presumably regretting the loss of three of his own children.

    But Jesus never said “After they have tried to destroy you, or taken your trust and dashed it against the rocks, give them your heart so they may crush you over and over”.

    Loyalty is not for sale, it is a gift. But it can be lost. It costs quite a bit to earn it back.

    • February 6, 2013, 1:22 pm   /  Reply

      Jennifer,
      Loyalty and trust … values that are not to be sold cheap.

  12. February 6, 2013, 1:23 pm   /  Reply

    Absolutely, Beth. Truth isn’t always pretty, but it’s the only way to be authentic. It was a hard step to take years ago, but it takes less energy than trying to cover your tracks of lying. Authenticity requires taking a risk of being honest. But it’s so worth it.

    • February 6, 2013, 8:45 pm   /  Reply

      Your insights are so true, Ellen.
      Thanks for joining the conversation today!

  13. February 6, 2013, 2:19 pm   /  Reply

    Great post. No the truth isn’t very pretty sometimes, but we have a Father who loves us anyway. And He sends people to lift us up. In fact, He will lift us from the miry clay and stand us firmly on a rock and put a new song in our mouth…I think I value faithfulness the most.

    • February 6, 2013, 8:46 pm   /  Reply

      Pat,
      Thanks for sharing such a hope-filled thought today!

  14. February 6, 2013, 10:57 pm   /  Reply

    Beautiful post, Beth.

    Relate to the dryer-than-talc desert. Perfect description for those times.

    On a funny note, makes me think of the poster, “Wouldn’t it be funny if a liar’s pants really did catch on fire?” Yes, unless they’re mine. 🙂

  15. February 7, 2013, 11:34 am   /  Reply

    True words. Honesty has always been big for me. But integrity is huge too. I can’t abide anyone who makes empty promises. Don’t tell me you’re going to do something and then just not do it, with no excuse. I’m always amazed at how many people seem to think this is perfectly acceptable behavior. The phone call/emails that never come – and then – oh, yeah I forgot or I’ve been sooooo busy… It takes two minutes to shoot an email to someone, even if all you can say is the truth – that you haven’t done what they asked you to, but you’re getting to it. No communication is bad manners in my opinion and shows a lack of integrity, especially in the business world, but it’s important in personal relationships too.

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