“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” Proverbs 27:6
“Charm is deceitful…” Proverbs 31:30
We live in a culture where people are often offended so it is easy to become comfortable with being less than honest. Little white lies may smooth things over in the short run, but they eat away at our integrity. Charm is deceitful because it appears to be kindness; but it’s not. Charm has an agenda! It’s nice to you because it wants something from you. If you don’t give charm what it desires, watch out. All those kisses had an agenda behind them that had nothing to do with loving you for your sake.
An enemy appears nice to you in person and then gossips behind your back. A friend wounds you in person, if they have to, and will defend you to the death behind your back. You and I can’t make people be loyal or genuine to us – that’s in their hands. What is ours to decide is what kind of person we are going to be. Are we always about our own agenda or are we willing to lay ourselves out for the sake of others? Will we say what needs to be said or only stick with what others want to hear so they’ll like us?
The truth can hurt which is why Paul encourages us to “speak the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15) Just because something is true does not mean I need to say it right now or in front of other people. We need to be careful how we speak the truth, but we do need to speak it!
When I was in high school, Billy Joel was one of my favorite artists. Some lines from a song he wrote called Honesty come back to me: “Honesty is such a lonely word, everyone is so untrue; Honesty is hardly ever heard, it’s mostly what I need from you.”
Let’s purpose to be honest to God and honest to people. If we have an agenda let’s be forthright about it and not play games. I think we’ll stand out in a world that seems comfortable with deceit.