I had started this series on my blog a little while back, of different things I learned during my teenage years. I had several ideas to write on, but after writing that first post, none of them really seemed to resonate anymore. At least, they didn’t have a sort of “spark” behind them that made me go “I have to write that” like most blog post ideas have. But in this past week, this theme came up in my spirit and I’ve been mulling over how to write it out, and it just seemed to fit in this series.
Earlier this week, I was part of a discussion. To be honest, I don’t even remember what the main topic we were talking about was, because I got so sidelined by a comment someone made. I think we were talking about surrounding ourselves with friends who will tell us the truth and point us towards Christ, and I heard someone saying under their breath, “Well I’m always honest” and it kinda took me aback. I don’t see this person as someone I would trust, nor do I give a lot of credit to what they say. (I’m not going to go into their background and why I feel this way, but please just know I’m not bashing them or anything–just after having observed their character for several years I have learned to take what they say with a grain of salt, as the saying goes.) Anyway, it made me realize that yes, that person is “honest” in the sense that they say exactly what they think, and it’s accurate according to what is real to them. Yet, it is not accurate or true according to the truth of God’s word. And I see so many people I love just absolutely soaking up everything this person says, because they want “honesty”. They are tired of people being two-faced. Yet the whole exchange made me want to leap out of my chair and exclaim, “Don’t you see?!?! They may be honest, but they are not truthful. They are absolutely not full of Truth!”
Sure, people may be honest. But what are they honest to? Are they honest to how they feel? Are they honest to their prejudices and past experiences? Or are they honest to what God says in and about the situation?
There is a difference between what is real and what is true. Fear is real. Lies are real. Feelings are real. Yet none of those things always line up with what God says is true for those of us who belong to Him.
Honesty is important, yes, but I would argue that being full of Truth will have a more authentic and lasting impact. You can be honest without being truthful but I don’t know that you can truly be truthful without being honest. To be full of Truth, you must be honest about where you’ve been believing lies so you can replace them with Truth.
So yeah, as a teenager (and adult, really) it is so important to discern between what people are telling you and what God is telling you. It doesn’t matter how “honest” they are if they’re not telling you what God is telling you.
8 So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.
I hope this made sense and wasn’t too confusing for you all!
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