“How are you today?” “Fine!” But often we aren’t fine are we? “I just can’t get enough of my wonderful kids!” But often those kids don’t act so wonderful and we have had plenty of them, right? “You look so perfect in that outfit!” But often we really don’t think so, do we? Let’s be real, although we frequently dismiss it as saving face or being nice, dishonesty is everywhere. It’s staggering how common exaggeration, half-truths, and flattery are, and it’s so ingrained in our conversations that I may not even notice it in myself until hours later.
But it’s still dishonesty, and it inevitably damages. Maybe you’ve missed out on crucial help or advice because you didn’t tell someone how you were really doing. Maybe you’ve pent up anger and frustration to an unhealthy point because you never thought you could tell anyone the truth about it. Maybe you’ve unpleasantly discovered what someone actually thinks about you who carelessly compliments you often. And maybe you’ve just realized that all of this dishonesty stems from one thing: not being humble or secure enough to be real with others, for your benefit or for theirs.
Today I want to thank my sister Erin Lanenga for being real with others all her life. I appreciate that she respectfully and helpfully speaks her mind, because problems that need solving get brought to light and dealt with. I appreciate that she posts when she’s tired or had a rough day as a mom, because I get cranky and have rough days with my boys too. I appreciate when I notice her choosing her words in such a way as to be simultaneously supportive and honest. Why? First, because when done in love, it’s more beneficial to help someone be truly better than falsely happy (if they’re truly better, they’ll be truly happy!). Second, because I can truly trust her, and trustworthiness is an increasingly rare human trait. Thanks sis for being real and honest in helpful ways; I can trust your compliments, your suggestions, and your life, and I love that about you.
Who is lovingly honest enough to say it like it is for your ultimate benefit? Who cares more about you than their comfortable relationship with you? These folks are rare and valuable, so heal their hereafter with real honest gratitude today!
I enjoy sharing tidbits that reflect the passions of those I’m thankful for. As a teacher, Erin values the gifts and potential of students as I do, and she wanted to share 1 Timothy 4:12: “Do not let anyone look down upon you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, life, love, faith, and purity.” She also is excited about Chicago Westside Christian School, providing unique educational opportunities for many kids in difficult environments. Learn more about it here!