How being Honest Makes You the Best Version of You
Cassie is called downstairs by her father and mother. They sit down with her and ask why $120 was missing from her bank account. Yikes. She had told them that she was going to go to the library to finish a class project with a friend. In reality, Cassie had gone to the concert her parents had forbid her from going to and used the money to buy a front row ticket. It wouldn’t be easy for Cassie to lie, and now she risks the trust of her parents.
Cultivating authentic relationships based on truth is so important. You’ll find that the friends you make based on honesty are the most genuine. Friendships that are not rooted in trust will fall apart – these friends will leave you because they’re afraid of your honesty and know they can’t live up to these standards themselves. You don’t need friends who flourish in darkness away from God’s light, and encourage and spew deception.
There are certain situations in which lying will produce good ends. In the words of Mr. Bedford from the film A Miracle on 34th Street; “…which is worse: A lie that draws a smile or a truth that draws a tear?” This is often what stumps good people with good intentions. Does this justify lying? Here are a few circumstances that might be able to shine some light on this dilemma.
Don’t Lie for the Sake of Being Nice
If you’re on a bad date, should you convince your friend to call you and fake an emergency so that you can bail out of it?
If you’re simply not enjoying yourself or feel that you might be unsafe on the date you should have a back-up plan. Contrary to common belief, you need not lie. You’ll get trapped in your own web and you might hurt the other person if he finds out. Simply let him know that you appreciate the time he took out of his day to spend with you, but it isn’t working out. Arrange for a parent or guardian to pick you up from wherever you are.
Make it clear to the other person that you aren’t interested for your own honest reasons, otherwise, he’ll continue to pursue you. Imagine being wrapped in Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth; what would you say? Remember to be gracious and tactful.
Use Tact in Fashion Emergencies
Imagine that your friend is trying on a prom dress, which she really loves, but you absolutely hate. You’re sure other people will find her dress ugly and might even ridicule her for it. What should you do?
You need to hold your tongue here; don’t lie, but perhaps don’t tell the truth in its entirety, either. If your friend likes the dress and wearing it makes her feels confident, but wants your opinion on how it looks, be tactful! You may say something like; “I’m glad you like the dress! I personally wouldn’t choose that for you – it doesn’t do you justice at all, but if you love it, that’s all that matters!” That way, you’re telling your friend that you don’t particularly like the way her dress looks on her, but you’re respecting her selection of it at the same time.
If the opportunity arises, pick out a dress in your friend’s favorite color that you know would flatter her, ask her to try it on and strike a pose! There’s a chance she might feel confident in that dress, too. Confidence is the finishing touch to any outfit and can make the more bizarre dresses glow. Regardless of the dress she chooses, make sure your friend swings by the alteration shop so that it fits like a glove on the day of the shindig!
Lying in Hot Water Will Make Things Worse in the Long Run
What if your parents were demanding and abusive? Imagine that they expected for you to have done something by the time they return home from work, but you simply couldn’t do it for whatever reason. You know they’ll hurt you (physically or verbally) if you don’t lie – what should you do then?
This one is a bit more serious, but definitely needs to be addressed. Self-preservation versus truth is rarely easy to reconcile, but imagine for a moment that you lie. What would happen if your parents found out that you lied? Abusive parents will be more furious to find out that you not only failed to do what they asked, but you lied to them too. In situations like that, it’s better to keep your list of offenses to a minimum until you can get help from a social worker or the police.
Don’t Use the Truth to Start a War
Imagine that your friend Stacy has been talking about your friend Emma behind her back with you. Emma thinks that Stacy has been acting differently towards her lately, and asks if she has been talking about her to you, what should you do?
Sadly, this situation is incredibly common, but don’t divulge Stacy’s dirty gossip to Emma. Tell Emma if Stacy’s opinions are so important to her to confront Stacy directly. In this case, you’re not lying. Let Emma know that you refuse to become involved with drama. Always play the peacekeeper; especially if you know the truth will wreak havoc. If you tell Emma exactly what Stacy said, it’ll appear that you’re taking sides or acting as an instigator, which is never a good thing.
By being honest with yourself and everyone else in your life, you tear off your mask and reveal yourself in the form in which God created you. Once you’re free from lies, you set an example for others to do the same. By doing so, you may gain more respect and admiration from your peers. You might even find that you’re more confident when you dispose lies for truth.