Jesus said: “By their fruit you will know them.” Matthew 7.16
Honesty is about telling the truth – saying what we mean, and meaning what we say.
But that’s the easy bit. Everyone knows they should tell the truth, and that if they don’t, in the end people will stop trusting them.
Jesus makes honesty not just about our words – what we say – but about our lives – how we live. We can say all the right things, but if we can’t always be trusted, if sometimes we let our friends down, if we keep taking the easy way out so that we never get into trouble (but our friends do), if we often forget to help, if our promises come easily out of our mouths but seldom amount to anything more – then the fruit of our lives is that despite our best words, we are not the kind of people we’d want to be friends with.
So what should we do?
Never promise more than you can deliver, says Jesus; and always try to deliver more than you promise. Then the fruit of your life will honestly blow people away.
Stories about Honesty
Jesus tells everyone what he is going to do (Luke 4.18-19)
At the start of his ministry, Jesus went to synagogue in Nazareth and read out to everyone what he was all about. Did he then go on to do what he promised?
Jesus forgives Peter (John 21.15-19)
After Peter had betrayed Jesus three times on the night he died, Jesus was crucified. But after he rose again from the dead, Jesus met up with Peter. Would all his words about forgiveness mean something on this occasion?
Stephen is full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 7.54-60)
Stephen was on trial for his life, and he remained true to his word and true to all he believed in. Even at the very end, as terribly angry people crowded around him, he prayed for them to be forgiven.