Opening up to Honesty
01 December 2003

I had never felt deeply challenged by these little moments of what can only be called dishonesty.

The origin of honesty is in the soul. I have an image of a big central place inside where the accountability, the direction-giving, the sorting-out and the discerning in my life takes place. It is only as I’ve moved into this place that I’ve been able to notice issues like honesty.

For many years I have been deeply moved by the way the spirit of life, or God, comes to us, longs for us and as the Christian Scripture says, even ‘groans’ for our transformation. I had experienced the invitation to transformation in many ways. But although I had been aware that I had a tendency to exaggerate details when I was talking, I had never felt deeply challenged by these little moments of what can only be called dishonesty.

The ‘quiet time’-time alone with the source of life-has become the central dynamic in my life. One of the most significant questions I have learned to ask myself, and also others, is ‘What are you being called to?’ It is a wonderful question, which opens us up to such a quality of listening and discerning that it can only be a gift of the Spirit.

For me, the answer to that question was quite simply ‘honesty’-honesty in all its forms, honesty in relationships, in attitude and in action. It was a call to become more transparent, to become more frank, to ‘say it how it is’, to use the right word and to not block up the channels for myself and others by half-submerged issues. It was a call to be vigilant about honesty-honesty before God and with God, honesty about myself and with myself, and honesty about and with others.

Because the call to honesty came to me in the quiet time, I have been able to experience not only the challenge but also the blessing. I experience the spirit of God desiring this for me as an opportunity for freedom and new growth. I’ve felt the grace and strength to persevere with opening up this new gift. The spirit called me through a process that I trust and that has proved to be a very good way to get hold of me.

This may seem general but it has worked in specific ways as well. Recently another person and I had taken opposing views on a particular issue. We both felt justified and quite passionate in our views and, because we couldn’t find any common ground, chose to agree to differ. However in order both to maintain my stance and to avoid conflict, I began to notice a movement towards secrecy in me.

I began to be uncomfortable about the feeling that secrecy was the only option, so took it to the spirit of God in a quiet time. Again, the call was to honesty-to be honest with the person about feeling secretive. Almost immediately, a third person was introduced to the situation who had an overarching view of both sides of the issue. Because the impasse had been softened by honesty, we were both able to move into a bigger space and experience not only new freedom and a resolution but amazing new opportunities as well.

My experience of honesty leads me again to believe that the spirit of God is on our side. My part of the bargain is willingness to accept the invitation, to recognize the call to ever-deeper levels of integrity and responsibility, and to follow where this leads.

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