Wouldn’t it be fun to get an honest Christmas letter? The kind that tells us Johnnie was rude, threw too many tempter tantrums and did not make the soccer team. The family trip to Swaziland went off the rails when everyone got sick and the luggage and passports were lost. You’re so tired of your children you want to send them to Antarctica or sell them at the next garage sale. How refreshing to witness authentic living. I’m not talking about hanging out dirty laundry, but being honest about our sometimes messy and complicated lives. We all have them.
With all the deception and duplicity in politics, large corporations and even families, I know that more than ever we crave honesty and authenticity. But we pretend because we want people to like us. When someone asks us how we are, we quickly respond, “So busy!” Busy equals importance and as leaders we desire to be admired for our accomplishments and skills. I confess I can also sing along with the song:
Oh-Oh yes I’m the great pretender
Pretending that I’m doing well.”
But I want to be the kind of leader that is not afraid to speak the truth, who has no hidden agenda for self promotion and whose desire is to be honest about their relationship with God and others. I want to be an authentic and contagious leader. So how do I do that?
God Can Handle the Truth
First, I need to be honest to accept and admit my mistakes. Sometimes this might mean talking to someone I can trust, a friend or counsellor. Then I need to be honest with God because He made me and I know He can handle it. I want to be like David in Psalm 139:23, 24.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Point out anything in me that offends you.”
Pretence and perfection turns people off but I know honesty draws them in. To stand out from the crowd and display Godly leadership, I believe honesty has to be at the top of our list. Make our yes be yes and our no be no. Let’s help each other to stop pretending.