The week of May 6th – During the month of May, your family will focus on the virtue of honesty. Each week you will gather together and reflect on what it means to be honest with yourself and with others. Find a time this week to gather as a family, say a prayer, read or listen to a prompt, respond as a family to what you have heard and then act on the suggestion for the week.
May Virtue Honesty: Choosing to be truthful in whatever you say and do.
What is a virtue? A virtue is something that God does in us to change the world around us.
GATHER together in prayer
LISTEN through scripture; readings; stories; music; videos
RESPOND to what you have heard
ACT in service to what God is calling you to
Gather together as a family and pray this prayer:
A Prayer for Honesty
Lord, the truth is I’m not always honest.
I sometimes say things I don’t mean.
Things that sound good
Or make me look good,
But aren’t really true.
And though I want to be honest,
Often I’m not even honest with myself.
Lord, give me the courage to change this.
Help me become more honest
In what I say and what I do,
So others can believe
That I am worthy of their trust.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Have one person in your family read Proverbs 12:17-22. This Bible passage can be found online at Bible Gateway via this link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=proverbs+12%3A17-22&version=NRSV
Then watch this YouTube video (Pinocchio’s Lie) via this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUdA54Xk8cg
Honesty is a virtue we’re probably familiar with. We know that being truthful is important and that not telling the truth is wrong. But being honest in what we say and do isn’t easy. Sometimes it feels easier to not be honest – a little white lie doesn’t seem so bad. Maybe we get what we want faster if we don’t tell the truth. Maybe we look better in the eyes of others if we stretch the truth. In the short term, not being honest may appear to be more rewarding that being honest.
Benefitting from not being honest isn’t the only reason we aren’t truthful. Being honest is hard. It’s hard to be honest when we’re caught in a lie. It’s hard to be honest if we’ve done something wrong. And it’s hard to be honest if the people around us aren’t honest. Being honest can be risky and it can be difficult to speak the truth if we know it won’t be well received.
As a family talk about what honesty means to each person. Here are some questions to help prompt your discussion:
- What does the phrase “honesty is the best policy” mean?
- Can you think of a situation where being honest isn’t a good idea?
- Can you think of a time when you weren’t honest in the last week? Can you share it with your family? What could you have done or said to be more honest?
This coming week be aware of when you aren’t honest in what you say or do. Every time you notice, write it down. At the end of the week, take a look at your own list (you don’t have to show it to anyone else) and think about why you weren’t honest in each situation. See if there are particular situations where being honest was harder. Try to figure out why you weren’t honest and think about why that was important to you. Don’t judge yourself. Be curious and see what you can learn about yourself.
Food for Thought
A half-truth is a whole lie. – Yiddish Proverb
A lie may take care of the present, but it has no future. – Author Unknown
Never separate the life you lead from the words you speak. – Paul Wellstone