Should I Tell the Truth?

I made a mistake.

I didn’t think through the situation clearly enough and misinformed someone. Now they’re upset.

And now I have to fix it.

But in all honesty, no one would know if I didn’t. 

No one would know if I made the right call and communicated the right information. It won’t hurt anyone, right? 

Nobody’s going to jail. Nobody would be injured. I could just keep it to myself... that I messed up. Certainly seems like it’d benefit me.

I could keep the truth to myself.

I sat on this thought for about a day before I finally went with my gut.

I knew I had to tell the truth. 

Even though no one would be hurt. Even though no one would know if I did or didn’t. It still mattered to me.

It mattered to me because I value my character

There’s a saying that goes, “Talent will take you where your character can’t keep you.”

I never want that to be said of me. I never want my talent to outpace my character. I want my character to take the lead.

I never want my talent to outpace my character.

I want to possess the character to make the right call in the easy times AND the hard ones. Because that’s what great leaders do. I don’t want to set a precedence that would later destroy me. 

I don’t want to lie to get what I want, even though that would be easy. 

I don’t want to skirt the truth to protect my ego. 

I don’t want to end up in an affair because I didn’t have the character to make wise decisions. 

That’s not who I am or who I want to be.

I am a man of truth. A man who tells the truth. A man who values the truth enough to tell it, even when it will make me look bad. 

I want to own my mistakes. Where I know I’ve screwed up, I will speak up and admit it. 

There are so many avenues where this attitude is beneficial (besides all of life...)

  • Marriage.
  • Business.
  • Church.
  • Friendships.
  • Shopping. (was that a 10% discount or 20%?)

I’ll be honest, telling the truth can hurt sometimes. It can stab our pride. It can humiliate our ego.

Sometimes that’s just what we need.

Humility and character go hand in hand. The best leaders lead with those.

So I picked up the phone and made the call. My heart pounding within my chest...clearing my throat over and over again so my voice wouldn’t crack from nervousness, I told the person the truth. I admitted my mistake. And I apologized.

(To be clear, I didn’t intentionally lie...I told the person what I thought was the truth, and after thinking about it realized that that wasn’t true)

Guess what happened? This person thanked me! They didn’t get upset. They appreciated the phone call and my willingness to be honest with them.

Now, this really wasn’t a big deal. This was a small thing. A very small thing. But I couldn’t shake the fact that my character was being tested. That my character was at stake.

What precedence am I going to set?

My question for you is the same...what precedence are YOU going to set? 

Leave a comment below and tell me of a time when you had to tell the truth and confess something. How was it handled? Are you better or worse for it?

Posted on February 16, 2016 .