When I was a kid, it wasn't unusual to see men standing on the church steps smoking between Sunday School and church. No big deal.
Except to Mama, a smoker since age 14. If it was okay for men, why not women? (It was the 1960s when women's rights were really kicking in.)
The Apostle Paul understood the power of honesty. Maybe he'd always had integrity, even if his first career choice wasn't on point. Maybe he had a sense of urgency in the gospel he was sharing which spurred on his honesty.
Paul had to cut to the chase. He seemed to know that he might only have one shot with searchers or believers to deliver the truth of God's Word.
Why are you doing this? We are humans just like you. Please give up all this foolishness. Turn to the living God, who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in them.
Acts 14:15 CEV
26 Suddenly, a great earthquake shook the foundations of the prison. All at once every prison door flung open and the chains of all the prisoners came loose.
27 Startled, the jailer awoke and saw every cell door standing open. Assuming that all the prisoners had escaped, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself 28 when Paul shouted in the darkness, “Stop! Don’t hurt yourself. We’re all still here.”
Acts 16: 26-28 TPT
But Paul wasn't tethered to a prison cell; he was focused on eternity.
Paul didn't seem concerned with the consequences of speaking the truth. Being honest with the jailer got their wounds washed and bandaged. On the flip side, honesty about the slave girl and the evil spirit (Acts 16: 16-24) is what got them tossed into prison in the first place.
"Situational ethics" weren't an option for Paul. Honesty was his policy no matter what the situation or consequences were.
Dear Reader, I wish I could say the same for me. When it comes to advocating for a student, no problem. So why is it so much harder to be honest with those closest to me? Why do I hesitate, even when prompted, to tell them honestly what's on my heart?
Does anyone else share the same struggle? I wonder what would happen if we interacted with others honestly and with the same sense of urgency Paul had. Dear Reader, what motivates you to be honest with those you love?