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Is Honesty the Best Policy?

By February 8, 2024No Comments

Someone once said, “Honesty is the best policy.” But in real life, is that true? I have known many people who have lived lives full of dishonesty and it seems they are often very successful. I have been around men and women who constantly lie, and they get what they want and, in many cases, even brag about it.

Through the years, I have counseled many people who have experienced infidelity from their spouse, resulting in a divorce. Often the one who committed the sexual affair, goes on to have a seemingly happy life while the victimized spouse struggles. It just doesn’t seem fair.

While life is not always fair, it does seem that the perpetrators and purveyors of dishonesty often seem to get away scot-free. What are we to make of this dilemma?

In Psalm 15 we read,

“Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?

He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;
He who does not backbite with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend.”

David wrote Psalm 15. Did he write it before or after his affair with Bathsheba? We don’t know. But we do know that David’s life took a gradual downward spiral after his sexual liaison. David’s secret sin became known, and his heart was never the same.

You’re only as Sick as your Secrets

Because of his secret sin, David became a sick man. In Psalm 38 he writes,

“O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath,
Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure!
For Your arrows pierce me deeply,
And Your hand presses me down.

There is no soundness in my flesh
Because of Your anger,
Nor any health in my bones
Because of my sin.”

David recognized that his secret sin was destroying his heart. His secret sin even affected him physically. I have often wondered how many people are physically and emotionally sick due to their hidden sins.

I believe this is why David said in Psalm 15, “speaks the truth in his heart.” David may have looked successful—he didn’t lose his kingdom; he didn’t lose his wife; he didn’t lose his fame. But David lost his heart.

Speak Truth to Yourself

Psalm 51 is where David finally becomes honest, confesses his sin, and repents. It appears that his heart was restored, and his life saved. David learned the hard way that truth begins in one’s own heart.

We cannot ascend the hill of the Lord—the presence of God and a love relationship with Jesus—without first learning to be truthful to ourselves. Speaking truth begins within our own hearts. It’s not easy but it’s the key to a truly successful life.

Deception in our dealings with others begins with deception in our own heart. Speaking truth in our heart is the beginning of healing and freedom.

Show me a man who is honest in all his dealings, and I will show you a man who daily speaks truth in his heart to himself. If you want a clear conscience, a deepening relationship with God, and trusting relationships, then honesty in your heart is always the best policy.

Pastor Steve