Advent: Be Honest

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Day One: Set Free By the Truth

‘If you remain in my word,’ he said, ‘you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’ (John 8:31b-32, NTE)

Her eyes were brimming with tears. This was one of the moments when I would have liked to throw accountability out the window—but it was also one of those obvious God-picked teachable moments.

“Mom, I don’t know why I lied. I knew you’d be disappointed in me. I’m sorry.”

The poor choice was compounded by the lie, and my daughter knew that would only multiply the consequences—but her understanding and unprompted apology was sincere. She received her punishment, knowing it was fair and deserved.

But she also knew how much I appreciated her ownership and honesty. With apology came forgiveness and my willingness to move—to free her from my judgment and further punishment because of my continued anger.

God reminded me that day of the importance of honest confession before him. Telling the truth enables us to live freely, without having to spend energy continuing to cover the lies and inevitable shame. How precious that kind of freedom is!

TO PONDER: Can you think of a time when life became more complicated by a dishonest response? My mother often quoted the old prover, “Oh, what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive.” Think about a time when, though difficult, it paid to be honest.

TO DISCUSS: How have you experienced God’s mercy and freedom in your life? Who in your life embodies the Truth? 

PRAYER: God, you are the Truth and the Way. Forgive us when we try to dodge consequences by not avoiding the Truth. Guide us back into your Way, and enable us to walk lightly and freely—honestly with you. Amen.