Thursday, September 4, 2014

Strong Women Always Tell the Truth

Strong Women Series: #3

      Notice that doesn't say "usually" tell the truth? Because we all "usually" tell the truth. 
Or at least we think we do. We would only tell a "white lie" to protect someone else's feelings. Or our own. Or maybe to prevent an argument. Or avoid an uncomfortable situation. Or...whatever...
     No, if we don't always tell the truth, we can not call ourselves truthful. Of course we "only" don't tell the truth when it's more convenient not to.  And the bar gets lowered each time we find a "good reason" to be dishonest. It becomes easier with each lie to tell the next one. It's a downward spiral.    
    It takes strength to always speak truth rather than to take the easy or "less offensive" way out. It is hard to be honest about myself to others and risk their anger, or dislike, or nasty reaction. It is not easy to confess that I really was not happy with something someone else said or did to me.  It is hard to admit that I was wrong. Telling the truth is risky--it sometimes means dealing with issues that I would rather avoid. It sometimes results in rejection. But untruth is deception, and deception is really just a lie. And I really don't want to be a liar.
     Sometimes we excuse our lies by saying we are doing it to be "nice", when in fact we just don't want to deal with the repercussions of being truthful. That does not mean, however, that strong women always tell absolutely Anyone absolutely Everything about absolutely Anything. Strong women know what not to say if it would be needlessly unkind or hurtful.  Some things should just be kept to ourselves. Strong women know when to be quiet. 
     And strong women are wise enough to know how to be diplomatically kind without being untruthful. "Does this dress make me look fat?" does not require that we reply, "No, your fat makes you look fat."  We can kindly but truthfully reply, "I don't think it is as slimming on you as that blue one you have."
     There is a reason that the Bible commands us not to bear "false witness."  If we lie to our neighbor we will all the more readily lie to ourselves.  And that is where self-deception takes root. Like a weed, it will choke out truthfulness in our lives. That route will eventually find us devoid of the foundation upon which good character is built: Truth. Without insisting on that foundation we have no hope of building a life that cannot be shaken.  It is much easier to go through life facing the repercussions of always telling the truth than it is to go through life dealing with the aftermath of telling lies.  

     The truth is, I have told many lies in my life. But the truth is also that a long time ago I made a quality decision that lying is no longer an option for me. Since then an occasional lie has "slipped" out--Ouch! But now I force myself to go back and tell the truth whenever possible. It really is a happier way to live. And each time I do, it makes me a stronger woman. 



  1. This is definitely a toughie. I had to have a difficult, truthful conversation with a close friend recently. It was awkward ( neither of us wanted to offend the other), but we managed to get through it and we're still friends.

    1. Yes, that is hard. The best choices are usually not the easiest. Hopefully your friendship will grow closer and deeper now that you can trust each other to be truthful. Good for you, Kimberly!