“I’m just being honest.” When was the last time you said that? What did you mean when you said it?
This phrase usually finds its way across my lips when I’m giving full, unfiltered vent to emotional frustration. It’s a way of justifying the extreme language I’m using and the acute emotions I’m feeling. “You can’t fault me, I’m just being honest.”
But just how honest am I being when I give full, unfiltered vent to my emotions, particularly my emotional frustrations? Is what I feel necessarily an accurate representation of what is real?
Let’s say that someone is going 35mph in a 45mph zone directly in front of me, and the road is constructed such that I cannot pass them. (Not that this sort of thing doesn’t happen all the time on freaking Maxtown Road!) Is it necessarily true that that person is an idiot? When I exclaim, from the safety of my own car, “You’re an idiot!”, am I being honest? Or am I just being subjective?
Of course I’m being subjective. But in that moment I truly believe that person to be a blithering moron who is a clear danger to themselves and everyone around them and has no business being on the road because they don’t know how to drive the speed limit. My angry exclamation may be an accurate reflection of my emotional state, but it is not an accurate reflection of reality.
I find that “being honest” often leads to greater deception. When I give full vent to my emotional frustrations I am crafting a world that fits my emotional state, rather than letting reality influence my emotions. I become angrier and angrier, but I also become more detached from reality. In fact, by “being honest” I become less honest.
Rather than giving full, unfiltered vent to my emotional frustrations, I need to learn to see the world, and the people in it, from God’s perspective. He, not my emotions, is the definer of reality. This is not to say that we ought not to be emotional, but rather that our emotions ought to be in congruence with God’s emotions. Our perception of reality ought to be in line with God’s perception of reality. That’s what it means to be honest.