Proverbs 11:3, "The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them"
Hebrews 13:18, “We have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably”

Webster defines honesty as “free from fraud or deception.” This means more than merely refraining from lying. Distorting facts to place the emphasis on another idea rather than the real issue is bearing false witness. To conceal truth that should be revealed is to be dishonest. Expressing one view while secretly holding another is deception. If in any detail of our life we say anything untrue, or if we purposely create a wrong impression, we are not being honest.

(1) Have you ever been given back too much money for your purchases at a grocery or department store? If so, did you keep the money or give it back?

(2) Or maybe you've been in a restaurant and the waiter accidentally undercharged you for your dinner. Would you correct the error or pocket the difference?

(3) What if you found a wallet with $500 in it? Would you contact the police so they could try to find the rightful owner or would you make a quick deposit at the bank?

I read an article sometime ago that appeared in our city newspaper pertaining to a construction worker. He walked into a fast-food restaurant and ordered two dinners to go. When his number was called, he picked up the bag, paid the cashier, and left. However, when he arrived home, he discovered he had been given a sack containing the day’s receipts. He immediately returned the bag, just as the manager was reporting the loss to the police. The customer was honest enough to return the money, even though he probably could have gotten away with keeping it.

Of a personal note. Recently my wife and I were shopping at a BJ's store in a nearby town. While returning the shopping cart to its proper place, I discovered someone had left an expensive book in one of the carts. I immediately took the book back to the store and explained to the clerk that someone had left it in a shopping cart. The man standing in line, looking dumbfounded, said to me, "It's only a book! Who would have known? Weren't you a bit silly to come back? For a split second I did feel a little silly, but then these words came to mind, "Should you ever lose your wallet," I replied smiling, "I think you'll hope that somebody silly like me finds it!" Seriously, Proverbs 11 reminds us that the Lord delights in honesty and blesses those who do what is right. So, even though we may give up what seems like some easy money, we gain God's approval. That my friend is worth far more than all the riches in the world. Honesty really does pay and is the best policy!

Closing thoughts:

Speaking the truth should be a characteristic of every follower of Christ. Lies are based on the false assumption that we can hide a wrong and protect ourselves from the truth by simply denying the facts. My friend, there are hundreds of reasons to support the idea that telling the truth is best for us and for society, but the most vital reason is that it honors God. Truth is at the heart of who He is (Psalm 31:5), and it is how He wants us to interact with others. Throughout the Proverbs, a book that clearly gives us God's thinking about moral and ethical principles, the standard of truth is held very high. Thus, truth cannot be refuted. It never grows old. It never has to be retracted. It never fails because; it's the language of God. My brethren, honesty must be woven into the fabric of our character if we are to have an effective witness and testimony for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Honesty isn’t only the best policy but it's God's policy.