Proverbs 20:7 (LB), "It is a wonderful heritage to have an honest father." That's the impact of speaking honestly. It's a wonderful heritage.
Dads, you and I think the heritage we leave our kids has to do with our accomplishments and all these great things that I do and they can step back and say, "Wow! What a great dad I had because he did this, or that." But the truth is our kids don't care about our accomplishments. What really impacts their lives, the real heritage that we have to give to them is our character. "It's a wonderful heritage to have an honest father."
I don't care if no one else in the world knows your name or who you are, if you're honest in your relationship with your kids you're giving them the best heritage anyone can give. That's the value of it.
I could stop here in talking about speaking honestly and most of us would walk away thinking "Yes, truth is a good idea, speaking with love – that's a great idea, but..." This is one of the places where we really struggle with the frustration gap. We know we should tell the truth. It's a value in our lives to tell the truth.
One of our phrases that runs through our minds is, "Honesty is the best policy". But a lot of us have canceled that policy in our everyday lives. We just don't tell the truth. Why is that?
One survey said that 91% of Americans lie. If that is true then how do you trust that kind of a survey? It says 91% of us lie." But we do. There are times when we lie, times when we refuse to tell the truth. Why is that?
I think it's not so much of lack of integrity in our lives so much as a real fear of what will happen when we tell the truth. At work, if I say something I'll get fired. With friends, if I say the truth they're not going to like me any more. At home, if I say the truth they're going to hate me. My husband/wife, we're going to end up having the biggest fight. So I'll just keep my mouth shut and I'll just live with it. I know what some of you are thinking "For me, not saying anything, it's not a matter of integrity, it's a matter of survival."
Let's be honest about honesty. Integrity and honesty are a tremendous risk in relationships. What would they really think if I really told them the truth? If I really told my parents the truth, they'd kick me out of the house. If I really told my boss the truth about what I think about the project, he'd fire me. So I'll just be quiet, not say anything. If I really told my husband the truth about how I feel about our relationship, he'd blow up; it's not worth it. If I really told my wife the truth about how I feel about our love life, she'd accuse me of a one-tract mind. It's a risk to tell the truth.
But it is worth the risk in your relationships.
Just a thought from the from porch…