Is Honesty Really the Best Policy?
One of the best examples is how important honesty is when trying to lose weight. This may sound surprising to some of you, especially if you’ve never really struggled with your weight. But it can be very, very difficult to be honest with yourself about what you’re really consuming and what’s it done to your body, self-image, health, etc.
What do I mean? Let me give you an example. The day that I came to the realization that I needed to lose weight ended with me taking the first honest look at my food intake ever. I can truthfully confess that before that day I had never sat down and took a good, hard look at what I was consuming.
The results were rather shocking.
At that time I needed to consume 2500 or so calories a day to maintain my weight. But when I calculated how many calories I consumed the day before I started losing weight, the number almost reached 4000! And, sadly, that day was not exceptional; it was just a normal ol’ day!
That level of honesty with myself helped kick start my rear-end into gear! And the more honesty I dished out to myself, the more motivated I became to change. I took measurements. I found out my bod fat ratio. I discovered my body mass index. The result of all that honesty? I discovered that I was obese and ready to change!
How Honesty Can Help Us Become More Missional
How does this weight-loss lesson about honesty apply to becoming more missional? I think the answers are pretty self-explanatory:
- Appraisal — How is your life lining up with the mission of God? From the opening pages of the Bible to the very end of Revelation God has revealed the fact that he’s interested in reconciling all things to himself through Jesus Christ. Are you regularly joining God in this mission? Are you doing something besides just giving money? Are you getting your hands dirty? Are you involved in making disciples and deepening the discipleship of those who already follow Jesus? Remember, it’s important to be honest. If you don’t take the honesty portion of this journey seriously, none of the other steps will be effective at all!
- Progress — How are your progressing in being more in line with the mission of God? Jesus certainly doesn’t expect you to have it all down pat right from the beginning! His closest friends and disciples didn’t have it all figured out even though they had been in an intensive, hands-on training program for three years! In other words, it’s perfectly typical not to have it all figured out. But it’s important to be honest about where you are at in the process. Now some of us will be tempted to minimize any progress we’ve made, choosing instead to focus on how much more missional we need to become. But others of us will err in the opposite direction, over-estimating our alignment to the Missio Dei. Whichever way you lean, it’s extremely important to be honest so that you can have a true picture of where you’ve been and where you need to go.
- Need — Are you being honest about the fact that you can’t do everything alone? Are you able to admit and act on the facts that you need God to empower you and you need a community to encourage you to be all that God desires you to be? Honesty in this area can be really hard. Some of us are just wired from a very young age to achieve and to do so on our own. If that’s you, then it’s high time that you took a dose of honesty! No one can do this thing alone. In order to be missional in the most effective and worshipful way, we must admit that we need God and we need one another.
So I hope you’ve seen how important honesty is when talking about becoming missional.
How else can being honest help us become more missional? Let me know in the comments below!