photo 2375d8b1-363b-4529-a881-6acdb0ea5f22.jpg
Illustration by Lisa Congdon
I think that honesty is the door through which lies every good thing. Health, help, connection, intimacy.

Honesty is the door through which lies every real thing.

If you want something true, you're going to have to walk through that door.  The door of telling the whole truth.

It's terrible that honesty is also the hardest, scariest, most painful thing.  I hate it.  I did not sign up for this.  I hate that honesty leaves me exposed and raw and gritting my teeth, bracing for the fallout.  I hate how it opens me up to judgment and ridicule and hurt.

But I love how it opens me up to mercy.  And connection.  And sleeping at night.

We tend to believe honesty will isolate us - that if we tell the real, honest truth everyone will jump ship, lest they be marred by association with our dirty selves.  But that's the fear talking.  Honesty never isolates as much as lies do.

It's the lies that build the wall.  It's the omissions that lay the bricks.  It's the giving up's and the rationalizations and the self-preservation that walls us into solitary confinement.  It's the hiding and the masks that chain us there, in the dank loneliness.  We are like Poe's poor Fortunato, thinking we've found a cask of fine amontillado, but instead we've found our tombs.

I hate this, but I believe it.

If you want to be healthy, tell the whole truth. If you want help, tell the whole truth. If you want camaraderie, tell the whole truth. If you want intimacy, tell the whole truth.

Anything less might work okay, but it isn't real.  If you have to hide things to be loved, YOU aren't loved, your image is loved.  If YOU want love - to be seen and known and loved for WHO YOU ARE - you're going to have to tell the truth.  You're going to have to let someone see you.

Donald Miller said it this way, "Telling the truth is the slow, mundane, difficult route to a meaningful life.  Anything less is cheating."

I'm trying to tell more truth to the tribe of people that I do life with.  To have the courage to start conversations that matter.  To, as Teddy Roosevelt said, tell the truth, even if my voice shakes.  To be vulnerable, which, as Jon Acuff noted, gives other people the beautiful gift of going second.

I want to be full of grace - yes - but also full of TRUTH.  What a sloppy, messy collision - grace and truth.

Jesus was full of grace and truth.  And of every other good, real thing that I need.  He's what I'm after.  And the real, applied, lived-out Christ-life lies through the door of humble, radical honesty.  Just like every other good thing.

Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth.