I had a hard time coming up with a title for this blog, because it covers a touchy subject. I just knew if I gave it the title, “The Importance of Honesty” then most people would pass by it. I didn’t want to give it that title because this blog is about much more than that. Honesty is just the beginning, but without honesty there can be no moving forward. Everyone thinks that if they are not being honesty then they are dishonest. It’s the way our society looks at everything. Black and white, right and wrong, honest or dishonest. The truth is that everyone looks at black and white differently, as I talked about in another blog. Most importantly is to know there is also a gray area. The gray area has been defined as riding the fence, tempting the Holy Spirit, living without thought to consequence. What if I give you a different perspective and let you decide for yourself? If honesty is the one ingredient needed before we can do any healing, and dishonesty is the opposite, then what is the gray area?
First, let me make clear how I view black, white and gray areas. I have lived in the black and white world most all my life. What I found was that no matter how good I was, no matter how honest I could be, or how right and perfect, I could never measure up. I could never be in the white area. You see, I am a sinner. I was born a sinner, and I will continue to be a sinner. I cannot be perfect. The only thing I can be is forgiven (Romans 3:23, John 3:16). So, if black is hell and a place that I have not confessed my sin or the stay of my sinful nature, and white is heaven the place where I am made complete, whole and righteous, then forgiven by grace for me is the gray! It’s not that I live on the fence. I live knowing I am a working progress, forgiven by God’s grace, and the ultimate goal is to refine me until I am complete and whole. I live in an area that not only sees the good and the bad, but also know that it is the heart and the motif behind why a person does what they do that matters and not a list of dos and don’ts (1 Samuel 16:7). So how does honesty fall into the black, white and gray area?
I believe complete honesty is a working progress. The reason for this is the one gray area that we are all guilty of. That gray area is called denial. The first step to any problem we face, is the denial that a problem even exists. I can say that I have had times when I truly believed with all my heart that I was in a good place, and nothing was wrong. Instead, as life happened and I became more aware of my circumstance, I could see that it was not true. Denial is not the end of the road, the black area that we cannot come back from. Denial is the gray area, the first step we all take on the road to healing. Whether trauma, fear, hard times, storms, and chaos evolve in our life to show us where are feet are planted on our road; we must first stop denying our circumstance and the impact it is having on our lives. We must stop denying that we are stuck or not on the right path. We must acknowledge whether the road we are on is headed up the mountain with honesty, growth and freedom from our circumstance. Or, we are stuck in a black and white, stagnant pond full of quicksand and mosquitos. Drowning in our shame, guilt and denial of who and what we have become. Once we can stop denying, then honesty has the power to run freely. The power to pull us up out of that sinking sand and set us on a path of true redemption and growth.
There are many reasons that we live in great denial. Shame, pride, bad coping skills, negative perspective, hurt, pain, embarrassment, stubbornness, mislead information, false teachings, or just plain old rejection of the truth. These each carry strong emotions that have the power to keep us near the pond. The most importantly thing we can do is realize the power it has on us that keeps us stuck and that there is freedom waiting for us if we can let go and move past it. Admitting you are in denial is not weakness, it is strength. Yes, it is hard and sometimes we are so consumed by emotions we cannot see that we are stuck in denial. Yet, God grace is sufficient and will carry us until we can see through the fog surrounding the pond that we are lingering at. When that glimpse of understanding comes that we are in denial, the fog clears just enough for us to see the path up the mountain. That path starts with honesty about our denial. Once we make that step to acknowledge that we have been in denial then freedom and growth can follow. The bible says John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The truth is Jesus and what he has done for us, as well as the truth in his word. When we face hard times, if we admit we are facing hard times, then search out the truth on how to handle those hard times. Then we have the power through Jesus Christ to live free. Free from the demons that denial plagues us with, free from the consequences of sin, free to be honest about all our sorrows and mistakes.
We are all living in some state of denial. The fact that you almost denied that statement is proof! What are you denying in your life today? What truths do you need to face that will get you unstuck and give you the freedom to be honest? I am telling you, once your honest, there is no stopping the power that God can instill in you to persevere and grow you to be complete and whole! Here is a list of things you may be living in denial from and some of these things I have personally dealt with myself, so know that you are not alone.
- Suffering, or have suffered, from Physical, emotional, mental, sexual Abuse.
- Feel you have been neglected by those you say they love you the most.
- Controlling Desires or lust have overtaken your life.
- Feel as though you are in the midst of Temptations or trials.
- What your Strengths and weaknesses are.
- Misunderstanding of who God is.
- Misunderstanding of what God expects of you.
- Dealing with Addictions such as smoking, alcohol, drugs, sex, or gambling, and you don’t have it under control.
- Dependency on things to make you feel better, like eating, spending money, belittle others, over exercising, etc.
- That your strong desire to help others may also be tied up with you feeling good about yourself or making yourself look good to others.
- That you are a people pleaser.
- That you are depressed and or anxious.
- That you have a negative point of view.
- That you need God or are not living as close to him as you could.
- That you are letting the world and its enticing moments of fun control you.
- That you are struggling and need help.
Once you face the truth and you are honest, then you can take the steps needed to heal. Without honesty you will stay where you are. What are some things that you have lived in denial over or have seen others struggle with, I would love to hear your comments and personal stories?