I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness.
1 Chronicles 29:17
I often like to walk around old churchyards and read the headstones. In the churchyard at Standlake, Oxfordshire, I came across an epitaph on an old gravestone It read,
“J. Holgate: “A honest man.”
I know nothing of Holgate’s life, but whatever he accomplished in his lifetime, he is remembered for just one thing: He was “a honest man.”
Diogenes, the Greek philosopher, spent a lifetime in search of honesty and finally concluded that an honest man could not be found. Honest people are hard to find in any age, but the trait is one that greatly matters. Honesty is not the best policy; it is the only policy, and one of the marks of a man or woman, who lives in God’s presence. In Psalm 15, David writes, “Lord, . . Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly” (1-2).
I ask myself: Am I trustworthy and honourable in all my affairs? Do my words ring true? Do I speak the truth in love, or do I fudge and fade the facts now and then, or exaggerate for emphasis? If so, I may turn to God with complete confidence and ask for forgiveness and for a good and honest heart—to make truthfulness an integral part of my nature. The One who has begun a good work in me is faithful. He will do it.
Father, help me to be truthful, and when need, to speak the truth in love. In the name of my Saviour Jesus, I ask. Amen.