Moving the world along with honesty

Honest actions can have a big impact. Seeing more honesty in the world begins with each one of us understanding ourselves and others as offspring of God, created to express integrity.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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When I realized the waiter at a restaurant had given me too much change after I’d paid the bill, I pointed out the mistake. He was pleased by my honesty – and surprised. I also, honestly, told him that I appreciate what he’s doing. Then, as my family was leaving, I noticed that he looked happier as he went about his work.

What I didn’t explain to the guy was how much I feel that our lives depend on this respectful honesty. For example, I counted on the other drivers in the parking lot to be respectful so that if they bumped my car, they would make an effort to address the situation honestly and fairly.

There’s something really good that goes around with honest consideration for one another. In a way, it moves the world along, and there’s a significant explanation for this. It has to do with the way honesty empowers us to do more good because it is sourced in infinite good, God.

In fact, our expressions of honesty reveal more of our divine nature as the offspring of God, good, and therefore more of the power that comes with finding out about our relation to Divinity. When we understand our spiritual origin, we find that honesty is an indelible quality of our nature as the sons and daughters of God.

This is what the Bible tells us we are. For example, the book of Psalms says, “Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people” (100:3). And the psalmist describes what we ultimately are as “Crowned...with glory and honour” (8:5).

Imagine if we all really felt crowned with honor – and saw each other that way. We would move beyond outward appearances and opinions to the deeper understanding that each of our lives is really worth something. We honor ourselves and others by being honest, and this comfortable honesty builds confidence to trust one another.

The more we cultivate this honesty, the more we will enjoy the fruits of our efforts. And the sooner we begin, the better. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote: “Dear reader, right thinking, right feeling, and right acting – honesty, purity, unselfishness – in youth tend to success, intellectuality, and happiness in manhood” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 274).

Cultivation of honesty begins with each of us individually. When we look deeper within our own thinking, we find what most needs to be addressed in order to move toward consistently right thinking, feeling, and acting. As we correct thoughts such as fears, strident opinions, and excess emotions by understanding more of our divine nature, we have the wherewithal to tackle the troubles of the world and help move everything along.

We need honesty to identify traits in us that need changing. The Bible says, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18). Honest, spiritual reasoning frees us from sin, brings a peaceful feeling of cleanness and strength, and we see more of God’s goodness.

Honesty has great momentum, such as what I saw happen with the waiter who found more kick in his step. Honesty enables us all to enjoy bringing forward more and more of the good that we have to share as the expressions of God.

It’s no wonder, then, that the writer of First Timothy pointed to the need to pray for everyone, including our governments, so that all may live in peace and honesty: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (I Timothy 2:1, 2). With a spirit of honesty, we move the world along.

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