Wednesday, September 24, 2008

To Tell the Truth

How do we teach our children, or even ourselves, to be speakers of truth? Don't lie to me! Tell me the truth!

When my oldest daughter went through a phase where she was telling lies, I began a discipline with her that I've even used with myself. When I use the word discipline I can see the red flags go up. Yes, discipline is hard. It is work. It is much like the discipline of exercise, learning a new skill, or dieting. Truth telling discipline is just as difficult, maybe more so because telling the little "White lie" is such an acceptable practice. To be seen as an honest person, we must practice the art of using tact while still remaining truthful.

If we are to stop lying, we must tell the truth. That is it! That is the discipline I use. Every time I heard my daughter tell a lie I commanded her to speak the truth. Even if the lie was days old she had to speak the truthful words to me, and on most occasions to the one she lied to: teachers, siblings, neighbors, friends. I use that same discipline in my life. There are still times that I wrap myself in the cloak of a lie so that the truth in my heart will not be known. When my conscience pricks me I discipline myself by speaking the truth out loud to myself and to the other person where appropriate.

This brings me to one other point. There are times when we lie to ourselves. Those lies are most often revealed when another person speaks truth into our life. OUCH! Sometimes pointing out the dishonest life we are living hurts, but their truthful words can become the key to my freedom.

The discipline for today is to tell myself the truth. If I take care of the plank in my own eye, then I will be better equipped to help someone take the speck out of their own.
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