Thursday, October 1, 2009

Let's Get Honest

I was at an intersection the other day and I glanced over and saw a man sitting on a bucket in the median, begging for money. This has become quite a normal sight, as you can see at least two beggars at every intersection off the highway where I live. This particular man caught my eye because he wasn't standing up and walking back and forth showing off his sign like so many of the others do. As I said, he was sitting on an upside down bucket, holding his sign in his lap. I looked at his sign thinking it would be like so many of the others I've read. Usually they say something about being homeless, hungry, some have said that their wife has cancer and they can't pay medical bills, or they are a veteran who can't find work, and they always end with God bless you. I'm not passing judgement on any of these people, I certainly have no idea about their situation. However, this particular man's sign said this..."Too ugly to prostitute, too stupid to steal". I sat in my car at the red light in total disbelief at the words I was reading. The man saw me reading his sign and he had a little twinkle in his eye and I could of sworn I saw half of a smirk on his face. I couldn't help but grin at this man's take on his situation. You have to say to yourself, if I was in this man's position, would I still maintain even a glimpse of humor? I kept thinking about it after I drove off. What makes a person who is obviously at an all time low in life, still be able to laugh at their circumstances? One answer I believe is that they are honest. They don't live in a facade, there are no preconceived notions about life, no one to put on air es for or try to impress.

Let's take an honest look at honesty.... it's almost a lost art in our culture today. What would it be like if we could all just be honest with ourselves and take some spiritual inventory? I used to write in an "Anne Graham Lotz" journal everyday. Each day you would read a story, a Scripture, and then it would ask a question based on that day's lesson. After years of growing up in the Church, listening to sermon after sermon, attending numerous conferences, Bible Studies, Sunday School, etc., I KNEW how to give the right answers to my journal questions. Long after I finished my one year journal, I picked it up one day and began to read over my entries. A feeling of disgust came over me as I realized what a bunch of junk I'd written. For the most part, it was biblical and doctrinally sound, but it was so far from the truth, it was ridiculous. The purpose of a journal is to share your thoughts and take an honest look at where you are, and then make corrections to get to where you know you need to be. The real reason I didn't answer honestly, was because I was aware of people reading my journal after I'm gone. My Mom had been battling cancer and passed away in 2007. During that time, I was able to read all of her notes & journals she'd written over the years. So I began to think about what people would read if they found my journals. Heaven forbid anyone see my true emotions or hear about my real struggles. What pride! I told my husband that my journal was fake and he laughed and said he knew already, he'd read it! He admited that he knew I was just saying the right things. I was horrified to think that he could see through me so clearly but hadn't said anything. Now I make a point of being honest with others and MYSELF. I can pray to God and bare my soul, the good, the bad & the ugly, because He already knows it all anyway. As a result, I am much more transparent with others, and surprisingly the more transparent I am, the more acceptance I get. I don't think anyone enjoys being around someone who acts like they have it all together.

Back to the beggar - what he said was ridiculous, but it was honest. It was the same as saying "I just want you to give me some money", no excuses. I found that more refreshing than someone trying to manipulate my emotions who may or may not really need help. In the same way, I would rather be brutally honest with myself and take a good look at whatever ugly thing I need God to forgive & deliver me from, than to be like the pharisees and pretend like everything is perfect and only other people have problems.


  1. I think being honest now a days is just so hard for people. I hate it when I know that I am being lied to...or know that someone is beating around the truth. So many people are not honest about anything. They lie about everything. I pray that I am being honest and that I am teaching my children to be honest individuals. It is not just the Best policy, but the only policy.
    Thanks for your comment on the 5 Moms today!