“Resolve to be honest at all events, and if in your own judgement you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occupation.”—Abraham Lincoln
Most of us may have experienced deceptive or manipulative behavior in others at some point in our lives, be it at our place of work, among family and friends, and even in religious organizations we belong to. We may even have displayed such behavior ourselves. The tendency to be deceptive stems mostly from selfishness and secrecy. Most people who live a life of deception may appear sincere, but in reality are only pretending with the intention of ensnaring another.
Living a life of deception makes you lose your credibility. You are considered unworthy of trust. We lose our sense of right and wrong and find it hard to trust others because we ourselves cannot be trusted.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917–2008) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught, “To be without guile is to be free of deceit, cunning, hypocrisy and dishonesty in thoughts and in action” (“Without Guile,” Ensign, May 1988, 80).
Psalm 34:13 says, “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.”
When you are honest, backing up your sincere words with actions, you show respect for things that are right. Honesty takes you places and endears you to the right people.
Transparency leaves you happier, more fulfilled, free and at peace with yourself.
When we choose to be without guile, we uphold our moral integrity.