Thursday, May 12, 2016

Practicing Modest Honesty

Modest honesty. It sounds so kind and diplomatic and unoffensive. It is at once transparent and deceptive. It is almost the truth about about whatever we have done to offend God or our neighbor. It is what we do when we want to hide the painful truth of our own sins and desires by couching them in past tense terminology or generalizations that conceal the real offense. We do this when we interact with others and we do this to ourselves. We want to be good or recovered or holy and we will do what we need to do to appear that way before our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Modest honesty is a lie.

We will cop to our sins in this life and our bentness of heart, but we do not always come completely clean. We hold back. We do not want to offend and we do not want to encourage our sin or glorify it. We also do not want to look bad or be too embarrassed or seem like one of God's failed projects.

Shouldn't we stop this practice? How will we ever heal our spiritual wounds if we continue to lie to our brothers and sisters and to ourselves and even to God Himself about where we are in our spiritual brokeness? How about we practice brutal "R" rated honesty with each other? We rip off that last veneer coating on our souls that seems transparent but covers a multitude of damages. We could show each other who we really are, pock marks, tool gouges and all, then begin to heal.

Scary? Yip. Is it necessary? Will it makes us too uncomfortable to talk to each other? I do not know the answer to those last two. Yet. I am working on it.

I just think about how God knows us without those comforting, modest (dis)honesties that we practice. I think about how it's all going to be laid bare on the Great and Terrible day.

Brother, if you are embarrassed about the truth now, you ain't seen nothin yet. Dude, everybody is gonna know.  Everyone will be watching. That's why we should fix whatever it is now or at least make some peace with it. We can only do that by speaking frankly about our current spiritual conditions. Am I wrong?


As I consider the possibility of a group of SSA Christians that gather to commiserate, confess, help each other, and uplift each other in their struggles, I'm thinking that the only way this will work is without the modest honesty that so many Christians practice. We have to be willing to strip ourselves bare of the pretentious moderations of the truth.

This, again, is scary. It scares me and most likely anyone else that might participate in such a group. I can see how it might take a while to get to this point. I just want this to work. My questions, "will it?"