What is honesty?

  • Discuss the meaning of honesty which is defined as:
    • honest, honorable (not disposed to cheat or defraud; not deceptive or fraudulent) "honest lawyers"; "honest reporting"
    • honest (without dissimulation; frank) "my honest opinion"
    • dependable, honest, reliable, true (worthy of being depended on) "a dependable worker"; "an honest working stiff"; "a reliable source of information"; "he was true to his word"; "I would be true for there are those who trust me"
    • honest (without pretensions) "worked at an honest trade"; "good honest food"
    • honest (marked by truth) "gave honest answers"; "honest reporting"
    • honest, fair (gained or earned without cheating or stealing) "an honest wage"; "an fair penny"
  • What are some examples or forms of honesty?
    1. Accuracy, truth-telling
    2. Integrity - true to one's word
    3. Credibility, pattern of believability
    4. Complete communication
    5. Faithfulness - do what you say you'll do
    6. Keep your promises
    7. WWDJ - requires study of scripture, prayer, and good counsel to be sure in all circumstances
  • What are some examples or forms of dishonesty?
    1. Hypocrisy - Sunday vs Everyday Christian
    2. Falsehood, lies, inaccuracy -
    3. Exaggerations, embellishments - the 'fish that got away'
    4. Deceit, misleading another - advertising
    5. Fraud, cheating - homework/tests, accounting, taxes
    6. Rumors/Misinformation/Disinformation - repeating what you heard without checking it out, FUD
    7. False-accusations, false-charges - perjury, trying to get someone in trouble

What do the scriptures say?

Christ is Truth

John 14:6

6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 8:32-36

32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

33They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants[a] and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?"

34Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

1 John 2:3-6

3We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But if anyone obeys his word, God's love[b] is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

  • This is the first step in being honest is to know Christ and follow his commandments
    • Read first two sets:
      • Who is the Truth?
      • How will he set you free?
      • What will he set you free from?
    • Read last set of verses:
      • How do we know if we have come to know Christ?
      • Does this mean good works get you to heaven?
      • How do we know if we are obeying his commands?
      • What does this have to do with honesty?

God cannot lie, expects us not to lie, and hates lying

Hebrews 6:18

18God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.

Proverbs 12:22

22 The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.

Proverbs 6:16-19

16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:

17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,

18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,

19 a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

Leviticus 19:36

Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah [a] and an honest hin. [b] I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt.
  1. Leviticus 19:36 An ephah was a dry measure.
  2. Leviticus 19:36 A hin was a liquid measure.

Exodus 20:16

16 "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

Ephesians 4:15

15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.

  • Read first two sets of verses:
    • Realize God's honesty so we can count on his promises
      • Can God lie? Why or why not?
      • What would it mean if God could lie?
  • Read remaining verses:
    • Realize God's command to act in honest ways
    • Note that truth must be mixed with love or you seem judgmental and not caring
      • How does God want to to act?
      • Why are we asked to not only speak the truth but speak it in love?
      • What is the promise when we do that?

Satan the father of lies

John 8:44

44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

  • Realize that when we don't follow God's commands, we are following Satan; speaking Satan's language; this is sin that must be confessed to restore our fellowship with God and man
    • Where do lies come from?
    • What are we doing or associating with went we lie?
    • What do we need to do when we do lie?

Break up in small groups

  • come up with a situation where it is difficult to be honest
  • act out the situation for the class & have the class discuss each situation, evaluate if they were completely honest, should they handle the situations any differently?
  • Here are some examples that could use if they are stuck for when honesty should be employed
    1. when you are given too much change
    2. when your told a rumor
    3. when you break something
    4. when you owe people money
    5. when someone calls and you do not want to talk to them
    6. when you are reminiscing and telling a story
    7. when you are asked for your opinion or advice
    8. when you are taking a test or doing homework
    9. when you are judging yourself against God's standards of right and wrong


Important points to review

  • Start of honesty is to know the Truth - Christ
  • Next step is to be honest to yourself and God
    • agreeing with God what is sin
    • setting that relationship on the right path through repentance
  • Work to maintain honesty in all your relationships

Focus verse for the week

Ephesians 4:15

15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
Topic revision: r4 - 2007/08/12, RickMach
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