Was It Curiosity That Killed the Cat, Or Honesty?

In the Enron age of thirsting for high integrity, mixed with our cultural hunger for true, genuine authenticity, how honest should we be with one another? Can we take our honesty too far? Can a pastor from the pulpit say “too much,” heightening his authenticity but simultaneously ruining his integrity and congregational respect?

But let’s take this concept to a grass-roots perspective for many.

This week I heard a speaker state, “If you omit the truth you are lying.” Later on in the week, I read, “You cannot live true integrity if you’re willing to keep secrets from your spouse” (a pastor’s remarks on the subject of accountability and integrity).

So what do you think?

Let’s assume during your work day you have an unfortunate, lustful thought about your coworker. You then confess this sin to your accountability partner at lunch. Later on in the day you arrive home and your spouse asks, “How was your day?” Though this incident of sin and confession crosses your mind, you decide to omit that part. Have you lied? Are you a person of lesser integrity?

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~ by Dave Smith on March 13, 2009.

8 Responses to “Was It Curiosity That Killed the Cat, Or Honesty?”

  1. Generally I think we need to be more real with our brothers and sisters in Christ. I also think “over sharing” is not the answer.

    Pastors must be careful to be authentic and respected. Spouses must be emotionally engaged but not heaping mental anguish on one another when there are other outlets for accountability.

    We must all be wary of blanket statements like those in green above.

    As an aside, can someone fill me in on the scholarly analysis of John 7:8-10? I am sure some commentarie can expalain it away, but it looks like Jesus mislead his brothers. I have no questions about His integrity. But I understand that it is easier to say never lie, never omit, never mislead because most of us will take the inch we are given and make ourselves a ruler…

  2. Good thoughts to get the conversation going. I like your term “over sharing.” Thank you.

    [In regards to your other question, that is one that has puzzled me for a while, as I love that chapter from John. I have personally found D.A. Carson to be a great commentator to turn to for the book of Matthew and John, and his thoughts are: “But Jesus, whose itinerary is regulated by the Father, must at this point decline (he says) “for me the right time has not yet come.”…Jesus’ response to his brothers is not that he is planning to say in Galilee forever, but that because his life is regulated by his heavenly Father’s appointments he is “not” going to the Feast when they say he should. The “counsel of the wicked” (Ps. 1:1) cannot be permitted to set his agenda. His “not” turns down his brother’s request; it does not promise he will not go to the Feast when the Father sanctions the trip. (The Gosepl According to John, D.A. Carson, page 308-309).]

  3. With all do respect to Carson, if that was the case wouldn’t Jesus just have said something like, “I’ll go when the Father prompts me.” Instead of declining and then sneaking out?

    When you are in our ABF in April you’ll have to throw out some shocking statement about the fibs in the NT by DA Carson.

    Have a good weekend bro.

  4. Yea, the times I have taught on that passage I have usually said, “Jesus says one thing and then does the opposite…and I don’t quite get it.”

    I see Carson’s point, and he backs it up with some detailed talk about Greek and verb tenses that I omitted, but still one of those scenarios that makes you scratch your head.

  5. I was hoping with a total of four (4) previous comments, someone had answered the “Have you lied? Are you a person of lesser integrity?” questions. But, alas! All I find is men avoiding the question with mental gymnastics.

    The answers are:

    NO, you have not necessarily lied…yet.
    NO, you are not necessarily a person of lesser integrity…yet.

    Any questions?!

  6. …so what do you mean by “yet?”

  7. By “yet” I simply meant that the conversation will probably be less concise and cryptic than the one given in your example. So, given the inevitable meanderings of “typical” husband – wife verbal intercourse, you (and I) will most likely have more opportunities to tell the truth and/or lie about the alleged lustful thought…

  8. Definitely I…but not sure about you…you are too pure for that.

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