The Worth of Your Word
"If I can't trust you, you are of no value to me. And if you lie I can't trust you."
Is this actually true?
Many friendships are established on the basis of how well the parties can keep each other's secrets. "Please don't tell my mom" was the opening line to many a relational story.
I'm not sure how telling the truth was elevated to the gold standard when considering the worth of a person, but it seems to be the dividing line between choosing political candidates, deciding on future spouses, and how much trouble you could get from the IRS.
We demand truth from others and perhaps even ourselves, except when that truth could shine a negative light on the aura we so desperately wish to share with the world. Or, more disturbingly, we allow lies to be presented as truth as long as they fit with our agenda, belief system, or won't interrupt our regularly scheduled life.
With all this ambivilence, isn't it the right time to ask ourselves, what exactly is the worth of our word?
A manager's ability to lead is adversely affected when she is caught in a lie. Working relationships are stressed when dishonesty creeps in. Lies affect the atmosphere. Whether it is the rumor of layoffs or the cover up of bad behavior, lies hang like fog.
Lying creates mistrust. Most corporate work require team work. You need to rely on someone else to finish their part of the project. But what happens when you question your ability to trust your co-workers? Your personal stress levels elevate and you may even work harder to over compensate. This can, of course, lead to bitterness and resentment. When these attitudes are present they form vicious cycles that might just blow throw like a wicked tornado.
Now, the flipped script is also true. If you are an untrustworthy co-worker, you are raising the stress levels of your teammates. It is one thing to feel the affects of a tornado that started elsewhere. It is another thing to be the cause of the tornado.
The Cost of Truth
Just as much as a lie can cost you the beautiful harmony of a pleasant work environment, telling the truth can cost you something, too. Telling the truth may not be easy, especially when you have screwed up or let someone else down. We are conditioned to redirect blame and make excuses. We will do anything to avoid momentary embarrassment or punishment.
The cost of the truth is that you accept the momentary and temporary consequences for the long term benefit. Is this easy? No. In fact, it may cost you a promotion or even your employment. That is scary. I recognize that.
Embracing the truth, however, is the only choice a Christian should make. Choosing the truth over the lie unequivocally states that your faith in God and his sovereignty, the grace that he has given to you, and the commands of Jesus are more eternally important than your present situation.
I know. That is scary, but the gospel can be at times. We take the good of Salvation and stand firm on it. That means that there are times when we have to take the "bad" of this broken world. It is in these times that we must remember that all things work together for good to those who love God. Even if the purpose is fuzzy and unclear.
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