Eternal One, who is invited to stay in Your dwelling? Who is granted passage to Your holy mountain? Here is the answer: The one who lives with integrity, does what is right, and speaks honestly with truth from the heart. The one who doesn't speak evil against others or wrong his neighbor, or slander his friends.
Our granddaughter, Virginia Rose, has the endearing quality of telling it like it is. Whether the news is good or bad, she consistently reports to her mother what happened during her day at kindergarten.
"Mommy, I was talking when the teacher was reading to the class, so I had to turn in a dollar today." (They have a play money reward system, and can cash their dollars in for a reward every Friday.)
"Beverly wouldn't stop poking at me on the bus, so I whacked her with my lunch bag. She started crying, and I felt bad. I apologized, but I think she's still mad at me."
"Guess what, Mommy? I have a boyfriend and one day we're going to get married." (It starts!)
Yep! Virginia just comes right out with things. Maybe such fearless honesty comes with a five-year-old's territory. The cognitive skills aren't yet developed enough to think to tell anything but the truth
But there's also a definite element of trust. Virginia knows her mother will listen and not judge. If a situation requires correction, it is done with love and gentleness
Virginia has nothing to fear.
And when I reflect upon what it means to speak honestly with truth from the heart, I think back to times in my own childhood when I lied about something. It was always, always because I feared, imagined or not, retribution and punishment should the truth come out. Yes, I admit it, I was a people-pleaser from the get-go and felt strongly that if I didn't keep up my "perfect" facade, no one would love me.
I bought into that lie for way too many years . . .
But when I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life, everything changed. The knowledge that I was loved as God's child, warts and all, and could trust in His saving grace replaced the who I wanted others to see with the authentic me.
I could live with integrity.
With truth from the heart.
And like Virginia, I can tell it like it is, for I have nothing to fear.
Have there been times in your life when you feared telling the truth?
Prayer: Father, help us to remember Jesus' promise that the truth will set us free (John 8:32). Let us live fearlessly as we put our faith and trust in You, knowing You love us just as we are. May our words and actions reflect Your great love to others. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.