Part of John Wesley’s genius, as the founder of the Methodist Movement, was the way he organized to make disciples. He established small groups everywhere he went. When these small groups met, they would go through a list of questions at each meeting. The questions were designed to guide the group members into a deeper walk with God.
Here is the second question:
- Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
Many congregations have at least one of these people, but in one church I served her name was Esther. Esther believed that she should always speak her mind, no matter who it hurt along the way.
I read in a Chuck Swindoll book of that same era that “honesty is a virtue, but it is not the highest virtue.”
I think this misconception of honesty – sharing my opinion no matter the personal or relational cost – is exactly what this second question of Wesley’s small groups intends to address.
Notice it asks, “Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?” (emphasis added) I think honesty in our actions will sometimes cause us to limit the words we use. Honest actions make us choose our words more wisely.
So, “Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?” Is a great question for any of us who would follow Jesus to consider regularly. Additionally, we are most likely to grow more honest in acts and words when we hold ourselves accountable to someone else.
I believe that, at its best, honesty in acts and words means consideration for one’s own worth and that of others.