If you believe something to be true and important, courage might be necessary for you to speak honestly. Sure, there are plenty of times when honesty is simple. Basic questions like, “What’s your name?”, “Where do you live?”, “Where are you from?”, etc. do not require much courage to answer with honesty.
What about when honesty is overwhelming, intimidating, or even dangerous, though?
The Example of Micaiah
When evil, ruthless Ahab was king of Israel nearly 2,900 years ago, he sent a messenger to get Micaiah, a prophet of God. The messenger demanded of Micaiah, “Look, the words of the prophets are unanimously favorable for the king. So let your words be like theirs, and speak favorably” (1 Kings 22:13).
But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, I will say whatever the Lord says to me” (1 Kings 22:14).
While Micaiah did actually struggle initially to be truthful to the king, he quickly corrected his counsel, sharing the truth of Israel’s coming disaster, according to the word of the Lord. The result? King Ahab’s wrath and judgment: “Put this guy in prison and feed him only bread and water until I come back safely” (1 Kings 22:27).
But Micaiah said, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he said, “Listen, all you people!” (1 Kings 22:28)
Talk about courageous honesty! All the other prophets were saying what the king wanted to hear – what was favorable and pleasing to him. Micaiah spoke the truth and did not waver, though, even when being sent to prison as a result.
Oh, and for the record, things did indeed happen as Micaiah said they would, or more specifically, as God promised they would.
The Call of God
“Lying lips are detestable to the Lord, but faithful people are His delight” (Proverbs 12:22). The Bible never says something like, “Be honest unless it is dangerous, difficult or uncomfortable.”
Like every other call of God on our lives, there are no conditions for obedience based on our preferences, comfort levels or safety. You are either for God, or you are against Him. You are either walking in obedience, or you are living in disobedience. You either submit to Him, or you submit to the evil one.
How can you make sure you are on the right side, then?
The Source of Courageous Truth
No matter how hard we try, we can never muster up enough strength, courage and integrity to honor God on our own. There is absolutely nothing we can do to fix our problems – our problems like weakness, fear, and dishonesty, and our eternal problem of sin against our perfect Creator.
“But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8)
The amazing news, then, is that if we repent of our sins and trust in what Jesus Christ did for our salvation, we not only experience eternal life; we experience His provision and power in a way that enables us to live the life He has called us to live. Only then does the courageous honesty come.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment” (2 Timothy 1:7). This statement of power and promise, though, is only for those who know and follow Jesus Christ. Do you? How can you be sure?