Are you always honest? Can you tell the truth even when the truth hurts?
I strive to be as honest as possible — sometimes to a fault. But, there are times when I decide it is better to lie than to tell the truth. I decide this when I think the truth will hurt someone.
I explained to my kids about eating healthy foods and why we try to do this as often as possible. If their diet was left up to them, they would eat nothing but McDonalds and candy and ice cream.
I avoided the word “fat” for a long time. Finally, the other day in the car, I explained what “fat” meant. I used examples of people they know so they would understand the physique of a healthy person vs. the physique of an unhealthy person… a fat person, if you will.
Well, I try very hard to be honest with my kids. I am of the belief that if they catch me lying to them about one thing, then why should they believe me with anything else. I want them to trust me entirely.
A few days later, we were at the dollar store. Standing in line, two people in front of us, was a woman who was obese. My normally quiet and reserved 5 year old daughter suddenly piped up.
“Mom, is that lady fat?”
The guy in front of me and behind the “fat” lady chuckled under his breath. I was not chuckling. I was mortified. I shushed my daughter which made her cry. She wasn’t intentionally being mean or rude. She was asking me a matter of fact question about what I had just taught her a few days before.
The lady ignored us, but I’d bet $100 that she heard my little girl. I am thankful she ignored the comment, but I hurt on my insides for her. When we got in the car I had to explain to my kids that saying a person is “fat” is not a nice thing to announce. Yes, that woman was fat, but it is not nice to say it to her. It hurts people’s feelings, even when it is obvious to the world that they are unhealthy, to be called “fat”.
What would I have done if the woman had not ignored the comment? I have no idea. I guess I would have had to apologize for not teaching my daughter that calling someone “fat” was rude and so on.
When I talk about being fat to my friends and husband, I don’t necessarily want them to agree with me. I don’t want them to pump too much sunshine, but a little sunshine is ok.
Even I don’t want the truth coming from anyone other than the lady in the mirror when it comes to my own physique.
When is it not good?
Or, is it always good?
According to God, honesty is good all of the time w/out exception.