Live Honestly

Updated: Aug 12, 2019

"Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body." - Ephesians 4:25

My trip to India posed a challenge for me in how to remain humble. Even though I certainly felt like a minority while I was there, my minority status as a white westerner made me a bit of a celebrity.

Photo by Benjamin Lambert on Unsplash

I was surprised the first time a total stranger stopped me and asked for a selfie with them. Sometimes people would come to stand near me to snap a picture on their cell phone without me noticing. Others would boldly ask me for a photo. These requests happened in most of the tourist sites I visited. If I am honest, I started to enjoy this celebrity status everywhere our group went. I had done nothing to deserve all this attention. But, it was a great way to meet people from another culture.

For some people, this desire for a picture was most likely a curiosity because they had never seen a person with light skin. For others, it may be the idea that we are people of high importance as westerners in the Hindu caste system. I began to learn that the world has a very different view of westerners. This view may be due to what they see in the media in their own countries that portray Americans in a different light.

"We as human beings are no better or worse than the other."

Then there was this other part of me that wanted to refuse the requests for a picture, not to be rude, but to say, "I'm no more important than you." I didn't deserve the attention I was getting any more than they did. I believe their lives were just as important as mine. We as human beings are no better or worse than the other.

There is a temptation to begin to believe the flattering things that happen to us in life and not see ourselves rightly. There is a temptation to believe the hype and to let things go to your head. The real problem arises when we start to expect to be treated better than others.

"To live honestly is to see yourself rightly."

To live honestly is to see yourself rightly. To live honestly is to possess humility rather than pride. Humility is not to see yourself as worth less than others or to be self-deprecating but to see yourself honestly as a person with both strengths and weaknesses. To be humble is to be aware of both without losing a clear sense of self-worth. Pride elevates our self-esteem above others while humility keeps everyone as equals.

Humility is not the ability to see ourselves through the eyes of others but through the eternal and all-knowing eyes of God. The one who sees us as worthy to be loved despite all our flaws. God is the one who loves us not because of the color of our skin or our achievements, but because we are created in God's image. To live honestly is to let others see you as God sees you - imperfect and still worthy of love.

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