Vol.II No.XI Pg.1
December 1965

The Need For Honesty

Robert F. Turner

Honest: derived from "honor" Characterized by integrity or fairness and straight-forwardness in conduct, thought, speech, etc. Upright; just; equitable; trustworthy; truthful; sincere; free from fraud; -- the dictionary preaches sermon enough to embarrass most of us.

A "policy" of honesty is shallow -- it does not satisfy the demands of this noble characteristic. Our words, thoughts, and actions must spring from something more than "policy" -- they must express our very nature -- an inner conviction that rebels at deceit. "A man is as good as his word" might be better expressed. "His word is as good, and no better, that the man". Honesty must be found in the man -- and the word is but an expression of something that first exists.

So basic and fundamental is this characteristic to Christianity that we tend to assume its presence among all who profess to follow Christ. But analysis may show that a majority of the "failures" of so-called Christianity spring from a lack of this virtue. Brethren deceive brethren, and that is enough to cause good men to weep. But what is worse -- for it gets nearer to the center of all deception -- brethren are not honest with themselves. Until we are honest with ourselves, we will not likely be honest with God or our fellow-man. An honest man can not believe in the sufficiency of God's plan -- for salvation, the church, its work, etc., -- and then support another plan. He can not believe that we must "prove all things" by God's word -- and then refuse to measure his practices by that rule.

An honest man does not devise quibbles to escape the force of scripture. He does not shun information on any subject because he fears his previous conclusions may be affected. "My mind is settled; don't confuse me with the facts!"

It takes "an honest and good heart" to receive God's word in the first place; and "honest behavior" in the last place -- to be a Christian (LUK.8:15; 1PE.2:12). And no amount of deception will fool God! (GAL.6:7).