Honesty is a significant aspect of relationships. Too many relationships have been ruined by a lack of honesty. There is no limit to how this can ruin even the most important relationships. In marriages we need to open about not only what we have done but also what we feel and think about the state of things. In friendships, it’s the same. In business, it’s the same. Every relationship shares some common thread of being honest.
First, honesty about how we feel is crucial to relational health. It seems so simple, yet we always forget to share it. It’s important to be heard and everyone knows how much it hurts to be silenced or ignored on some level. It’s very degrading and psychological pushes us towards just accepting in order to make the relationship survive or to fight the issue at the risk of losing the relationship. Regardless of the initial outcome, this openness will lead to health.
Second, honesty about what we have done is important. If you have to hide what you have done, that may be sign of a bad relationship. Fear is always a killer of intimacy. Sometimes, it just takes practice. Continually practicing honesty can make it easier. Other times, there are deeper issues with the relationship. These other issues will need to be addressed, sometimes through counseling. At some point, honesty will need become normal, otherwise, the relationship will suffer.
Third, honesty about our possibly being wrong is necessary. This is very different type of honesty. Looking inside and being open to making mistakes will not only make the individual healthy, it will bring the relationship forward too. There is nothing more relieving than relinquishing the need to be right or the desire to win and have the other person lose. At the same time, it is freeing for the other person because they don’t have to have a strategy defeat me.
The perfect example of this is Jesus with His disciples. He was always speaking into their lives where they were. He also was not afraid to share His heart with them. Even in Matthew 26, Jesus predicted all of the disciples would leave Him the night He was arrested. Peter, the one who always spoke too quickly, was adamant that he would not. Jesus went along to tell him exactly how Peter would deny Him during the trial. Although some of this was Jesus revealing things to His disciples through divine revelation, He was also speaking into what He knew about Peter. Peter was a talker who was ready to start a political revolution, except when it meant going against the crowd. At that point he would back down.
If we are to be like Christ, let’s fight to be honest in relationships and seek wholeness. God has designed humanity to exist in healthy relationship, not in fear and separation.