In the drive thru last Friday I gave the young lady a dime too much for my coffee. She kindly acknowledged my mistake and returned my dime.
When the teacher discovered that someone had cheated on the exam, she confronted the class and described the consequences. When the day ended a young man lingered by her desk. Tearfully he admitted, "It was me."
In the checkout line at a major retail store the cashier gave the teenager an extra five-dollar bill. She noticed it and without hesitation she returned the money.
"When Jews from Jerusalem sent a group of priests and officials to ask John who he was, he was completely honest. He didn't evade the question. He told the plain truth: 'I am not the Messiah.'" (John 1:19-20 The Message)
Can you imagine being confused with the Messiah? There is no indication that he considered any other response than truthfulness. The text says, "He was completely honest. ... He told the plain truth." Obviously the Lord knew the character of this man, John, when He chose him to prepare the way for the Messiah. God knew this man would not surrender to the temptation to be "Jesus for a moment." His words were plain and simple, "I am not the Messiah."
Here's the challenge for you: be completely honest. No, this is not an opportunity to tell people off, or crush the spirit of some innocent friend who asks, "What do you think?" Instead, use this as an opportunity to really make someone's day, to blow their mind, to shock their socks off. Tell the plain truth. Be completely honest.
When the boss begins to praise you for work that you did not do, be honest. Tell him, "I am sorry but that is not my project." When your co-worker is getting raked-over-the-coals for a mistake you made, speak up. Take the blame. Admit it was your fault. When you are face-to-face with an offended party who has mounted the courage to confront you about your insensitive spirit and harsh remarks, apologize. Don't be defensive. Ask forgiveness. Promise to do better.
Be completely honest. Speak the plain truth. Who knows? Maybe one day someone will write an article and include a story about you being completely honest. But, even they don't, the Father will notice and never forget! (Matthew 6:4)