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The Grit and Grace of Honesty

Honesty as a societal norm is eroding. ‘Fake news’ has entered our vocabulary. With the click of a button we can enhance a photo.

Forbes magazine predicts that in 2019, “skepticism will become the new trust,” as normal people encounter a mushrooming level of misinformation and deception on a daily basis. “Real is fake and sometimes fake is fake. How are we to know?”

Jesus says: Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no. Anything more than this comes from the evil one. (Matthew 5:3)

Could it be that honesty is fast becoming a practice that distinguished Christ-followers?

500 years ago, in an era of persecution, early Anabaptists equated following Jesus with a life of honesty. So ardently did they practice integrity that in 1527, in the Schleitheim Confession, they agreed unanimously that refusal to take oaths was one of the seven principles of discipleship.

This high value on honesty intersects with the ancient wisdom of Canada’s indigenous peoples. Honesty is one of the seven Grandfather Teachings of the Plains First Nations, along with Love, Courage, Humility, Wisdom, Truth, and Respect. Last year after Pentecost, we explored biblical teachings of Courage. This year for Lent we stories of Jesus through the lens of Honesty. Recognizing shared values between the Christian faith and the culture of First Nations is one way REC responds to calls for action from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.