This essay will discuss whether ‘honesty is the best policy’. It is written through the eyes of a Christian, and will often refer to the Bible. The essay will bring up biblical matters, and also issues that affect the lives of others and ourselves, that relate to honesty.
Being honest has many benefits. In the Bible, it states many times that ‘honest people are blessed’ for example Psalm 112. The Bible also states that ‘when a man is honest he will receive love and kindness’
(Psalm 112). The wicked will not like the honest and will hate and try to destroy them. But the word of the Lord has promised, ‘The wishes of the wicked will come to nothing’ (Psalm 112: 10). The Bible also points out that when you choose to tell the truth, the Lord is pleased (Psalm 112). Also if telling that truth causes a change in your plans for having some fun God will provide you with another safer opportunity to enjoy yourself (Genesis 26: 1-11). God wants us to tell the truth for our own benefit, so we don’t get hurt. Sometimes telling a lie can hurt someone more than we imagine. The Bible makes it clear, that ‘people who tell the truth will be respected, and will please both God and people’ (Proverbs 3: 3-4).
A lie is a lie. Many times we try to tell ourselves that some things aren’t true. We tell ourself that spreading rumours doesn’t matter, or that there’s no harm in shoplifting. When we believe these lies, we’re only deceiving ourself (Leviticus 19: 16-17). In James 3: 1-12, it is pointed out that you can not tell the truth and lie at the same time. The Bible points out that a half-truth is a lie.
A lie is slow to heal. When we lie and somebody finds out, we lose our dignity the respect of a lot of people. It is much easier to lose the respect of others than to repair a broken trust or friendship. When we trust someone with something, and they go and tell a different version and start spreading rumours about us we lose faith in them and become very wary not to tell them anything important. Once again if they had told the truth, the friendship wouldn’t have been damaged. Although we may forgive them, we still take a long time to come to trust them again. In Jeremiah 23, the Lord says that he will punish false prophets. The Lord hates rumour mongers.
Surely sometimes it’s all right to lie. What if you are doing something in secret, for example, a surprise party and some one asks you what it is? There is no need to lie you can simply tell them that ‘you are unable to tell them as it is confidential’. Some of you will be asking, ‘What if it’s a matter of life and death, that is, to lie and live, or to tell the truth and die. When in this situation, tell the truth and God will provide (Proverbs 3: 5-6). It may not be easy, but stop and think. Is telling a lie and living the rest of your life, then being thrown into the depths of hell for eternity better or worse, than telling the truth, being killed, and spending the rest of eternity with God in heaven?
You have to live with yourself. When you lie, you go through life with a small part of your conscience feeling guilty. It is like a disease, as you feel very much at dis-ease. This small guilt grows and grows, causing misery which many people hide. When you lie to others you begin to feel as though you must keep the lie going or they will think badly of you. In time the lie will grow, and with it your misery. As the time passes you will begin to wish that you had never told the lie. If you admit to the lies and deceit, the world may think badly of you. Some will respect you for showing that you have the courage to admit that you were wrong, others would hate and despise you for the lies you told. The ones who hate and despise you may not have done wrong in the eyes of the world, but in God’s eyes they have committed the greatest sin of all by not forgiving you (Mark 11: 26). When you tell the truth God is pleased with you and when you ask for forgiveness he forgives you (Isaiah 55: 7).
Summing it all up. Being honest isn’t easy. When a lie is made it grows. Like a disease it will grow. Without treatment it will thrive. To admit to a lie is its cure. Though a cure is given, some diseases get worse before they get better. With lies, to admit is to be humble. For the proud, to be humble is more anguish to their ego, than to live with a lie. But afterwards comes the reward of honesty. The blessings of God. Therefore ‘Honesty is the best Policy’.