Honesty is the best policy

Honesty is the best policy

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. – Psalm 32:5

Psalms 32:1-5

 1 Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!

 2 Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!

 3 When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long.

 4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.

 5 I confessed my sin; I no longer covered up my wrongdoing. I said, “I will confess my rebellious acts to the LORD.” And then you forgave my sins.

Benjamin Franklin made famous the aphorism, “Honesty is the best policy.” He did not just say it, he lived it for 84 years.

What does the phrase mean? It conveys the idea that “Telling the truth is always the best course of action, even when being dishonest would be easier or more useful” (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms).

Through the years, others have spun the phrase, often with humorous intent. Mark Twain quipped, “Honesty is the best policy – when there is money in it.” More recently, comedian Steve Landesberg of Barney Miller fame, offered, “Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense.”

The Father is Truth and He never lies or deceives. Honesty and integrity are qualities that He desires for each of His children to develop. Honesty begins and ends in the heart. Sadly, we have a natural bent towards dishonesty, deception, and hiding from the truth.

Jeremiah 17:9-10 

 9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?

 10 But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives.


Being honest is a choice we make once and for all. We renew our commitment day by day.

Father strengthen me to be humble and gentle as You are. Encourage me to live a life of honesty and integrity in all things.


When choosing to be honest and open, reflect a moment upon the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 2:24-25

 24 But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men,

 25 and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

The Lord Jesus Christ knows what we are truly like. Nothing is hidden from Him. To Him, our hearts are an open book. He has chosen to identify Himself with the human race. In the incarnation, He became truly human. He understands and sympathizes with us. Realizing this, why would we try to hide from Him? Ultimately, it simply does not work and serves no purpose. It can become the breeding ground for unintended consequences. By our own actions, we can close ourselves off from experiencing the Father’s gracious intimacy and interaction with us.

There are many places in the Scriptures where the Lord Jesus Christ describes what He is as the Messiah and Savior of the world. He is the light of the world and the bread of life (John 9:5, John 6:35). He is the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6). He is the resurrection and the life (John 10:25). He is the good shepherd (John 10:4).

In the Gospel of Matthew, the Lord Jesus Christ reveals what He is like as a person. The Lord Jesus Christ self-identifies Himself as humble and gentle.

Matthew 11:28-30

 28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

 29 “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

 30 “For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

The Greek word translated humble is praus. Praus means to be mild, gentle, considerate, soft, or meek. It describes someone who is free of self-importance and characterized by other-centeredness (NIGTC).

The Greek word translated gentle is tapeinos. Tapeinos has the sense of being low, unassuming,or being humble-minded.

The words humble and gentle may be linked in thought. They may be combined so that one strengthens the other: “I am very humble” or “I am very gentle” (UBS).

The Lord Jesus Christ wants to be our “Safe Place.” He invites us to come for comfort, consolation, and rest.

“All of us need rest, and Jesus promises to give it to us when we find our rest in Him. He will not scold us for being weak or scorn us for being foolish. He promises to gently and humbly refresh our weary souls” (Stanley).


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