I grabbed this quote from a notification from a planner app on my phone. It is an interesting quote that could apply to many areas of life. What makes this quote so interesting is that it touches on an aspect of our lives that we don’t often think about. It also happens to be an area of life that the Bible has much to teach us about.
The full quote alluded to above is “Honesty is a very expensive gift, Don’t expect it from cheap people,” This quote got me thinking about how superficial we have become in our world today and as followers of Jesus. Our superficiality is observed, if we are willing to look, in ourselves as well as in others. How often have you skirted the truth because you might offend someone? How often have you run from a relationship rather than attempting to work it out? How often have you written off another person without hearing the other’s side of the story? The sad truth is that superficial relationships prevent us from developing genuine relationships with others. The truth is that it destroys our reputation for Jesus before others.
If you are bothered by the lack of honesty from others, especially those that profess to follow Jesus, then lead with your example. This is the first insight for not being a cheap person reminds of the cost of honesty. The Bible is filled with admonitions to be a person of integrity. We see the Old Testament calling us to be people of integrity, ““You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.” (Leviticus 19:11) These three admonitions are speaking to how we treat others. Part of the cost of honesty is letting others see the real me. Each time we shade the truth with a partial lie we are attempting to hide something from others. The New Testament reminds us that a genuine follower of Jesus will be an honest person. “As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.” (Luke 8:15) Honesty is a mark of a mature follower of Jesus. Jesus reminds us that being a person of character is really the summation of the “Law and the Prophets.”
Another reason why honesty is so expensive is that it requires that we speak the truth in love. This is really telling the truth in a God honoring way. We need to be careful that we do not use “honesty” as a justification to give someone a “piece of my mind!” The Bible reminds us, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) The word kind calls us to be “gently pleasant— soft and mild (and pleasant); not harsh or stern or severe. While the word tenderhearted speaks of being a person of compassion. We need to realize that telling others what they want to hear or avoiding necessary conversation is not kind at all. It is hard to be an honest person, this is why honesty is so expensive!
The greatest cost of a lack of pursuing honesty is that it robs us of an opportunity for genuine spiritual growth. It also robs us of meaningful relationship with others. “Honesty is a very expensive gift, Don’t expect it from cheap people,” I hope others can expect that from us!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson