Has loving a prodigal made me less honest?

Has loving a prodigal made me less honest?

A Story by Precious Prodigal

Posted on July 5, 2013:


Micah 6:8  “…what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly…”


“You’re only as sick as your secrets.” Author Unknown


When someone in the family begins to abuse alcohol or use drugs or just to act out, the entire family gets sick. That’s a hard concept to understand, and it’s even more difficult to believe. After all, we’re not the ones staying out all night, getting arrested, losing our jobs or bankrupting the family. We’re the responsible ones…the ones who show up, fix things and hold the family together. God expects us to “walk justly,” meaning to do the right thing, and we do. Unlike the prodigal, we make it a policy to do the right thing. Or do we?


I consider myself a basically honest person and unlikely to lie. However, a study published in the Journal of Basic and Applied Psychology says different. Ten-minute conversations between strangers were videotaped and then reviewed by the speakers. In that brief ten minutes, people lied an average of almost three times. Strangers, who had no reason not to tell the truth still didn’t…at least not all the time. It’s not a surprise to me and probably not to you that our prodigals lie to us. But what about me, what about you? If God expects me to “do justly” (and He does), that’s going to include my being honest.


Calling my prodigal’s work to say he has a “bug” isn’t honest if the “bug” he has is a hangover. Lying to my spouse about what our son or daughter has done isn’t being honest, even if we do it to try to keep the peace in the family. Making excuses to the kids for Dad’s behavior isn’t being truthful or honest either.


I teach in the Court Referral Program, and all my students have either drug- or alcohol-related charges. I’m not surprised when my students tell me they have lied to their kids about where they are and why. However, I continue to be amazed at the spouses who also lie to the kids about why Mom or Dad is going to my classes. Lying just isn’t the answer, regardless of our motive and no matter whom we’re trying to protect. It’s wrong. And if I lie for any reason, even embarrassment or shame, I can’t tell you I’m doing the right thing.


Being honest and doing the right thing also means I’m not going to pretend that everything is peachy keen and dandy…not to my prodigal, not to the people who love me, and certainly not to myself. I’m not saying we need to tell everyone our personal business. I’m saying we need to take off the masks and just get real.


I realize I can’t make anyone else choose to do the right thing. However, I can choose to do the right thing myself. And I can do that even though nobody else is doing what’s right. Because it’s not about someone else. It’s about doing what God requires of me…the right thing. For today, that means being honest.


Challenge for Today: Can you, just for today, choose to get real and be honest with yourself and others?

© 2013 Precious Prodigal

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