Let’s Rethink the Way We Look at Honesty

Let's Rethink The Way We Look At Honesty

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  -John 8:32

Dishonesty is a defense mechanism, at least it is in today’s culture.  People lie all the time to get out of trouble, clear their name, or even make money; and that’s acceptable.  If you have to lie to protect yourself, surely no one will hold it against you.  I think this especially applies to the politicians and celebrities of today’s world.

Honesty, on the other hand, isn’t such a virtue today.  Sometimes honesty is viewed as a vulnerability.  When you are completely honest, you look weak.  Your flaws and insecurities are exposed, and that’s not acceptable.  Even when you have only good things to share with the world, honesty can sometimes be considered annoying.  When you’re a Christian, people might not want your honesty at all.

Shouldn’t we do a double take about now?  There is a truth that is meant to set us free, but this doesn’t seem like freedom at all.  Lying is second nature to many, but maybe just telling the truth can move us towards freedom.

I think it’s about time we rethink the way we look at honesty.

Being Honest With Yourself

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?”  -Jeremiah 17:9

Wouldn’t it make sense that we have the ability to understand our hearts?  I mean, it’s not like anybody else can tell us our own thoughts and feelings.  For whatever emotion we are experiencing, there must be some reason for it.  But have you ever wanted something that you know is bad for you?  This is what Jeremiah 17:9 is talking about: our hearts deceive us.  They make us think we need something in our lives that would hurt us to pursue; like money, fame, success, relationships, respect.  Our heart makes us think that we are entitled to these things, and though these things are not evil in themselves, you could waste a lifetime of energy on pursuing your hearts desires.

Oh, but shouldn’t we follow our hearts?

Well, perhaps.  But, that doesn’t mean you should follow your every whim.  Our hearts are a major way that God communicates with us, so pray that He would live inside yours.  In truth, it is the unguarded heart that will trip you up, so make sure you are always praying that God would live in your heart to protect you from it.

Being Honest With Others

“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”  -Colossians 3:9-10

If you are a Christian, that means you’re a Christ-follower, but it’s more than that.  Christians are meant to be people who strive to be like Christ.  And of course, we know that Jesus always told the truth.  That is what the Bible is built on; telling us the truth.  There are a lot of lies that people tell us in this world, but the Bible is the one thing we can rely on to always speak the truth into our lives.

We, as Christians, should be doing the same for others.  Whether or not the people you encounter on a daily basis are Christians, you should always strive to be honest with them.  Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb and make yourself vulnerable.  Tell your story; God has done amazing things for you, and it would be lying to say that you haven’t been changed by Him.

Being Honest With God

“Then hear from heaven, your dwelling place.  Forgive and act; deal with each man according to all he does, since you know his heart (for you alone know the hearts of all men)”  -1 Kings 8:39

This seems kind of silly to say, but you can lie to God too.  Of course God knows every part of you, so it seems like lying to him wouldn’t be an issue, but when you aren’t honest with God, it means that you aren’t putting all your trust in Him.

Sometimes I’ve lied to God when I’ve said I’m ok.  I’ve found myself wanting to pray about something that’s bothering me, but then I don’t because I realize that there are some people who have it so much worse than I do.  However, God cares about all of our little problems that we face in life.  By refusing to pray about something that’s bothering me, I’m basically saying “Never mind God, I’ll handle this one!”  That’s certainly not what He wants, and I probably can’t take care of myself as well as he can.

I just realized this today, but the root of the word “honesty” is honor.  I’m sure this means more than just telling the truth.  If God desires us to be honest, then having a truthful attitude brings God glory.  It think this verse sums it up nicely.

“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”  -John 12:16

Honesty is more of a matter of the heart than about whether or not what you say is truthful.  So, do a double take, reconfigure your code of honor, and don’t be afraid to tell the truth.

Much love,


You Can Still Learn When You’re Tired

This week has been the most exhausting week of my college career thus far.  So far, I’ve been handling my first 18 credit semester pretty well; all I can do is take it one day at a time.  However, yesterday I woke up with no energy to make it through the day, on top of that, Fridays are my busiest day by far.  At the end of my four classes yesterday I went to my voice lesson of the week, where I learned some very valuable things that may help us all.

You can still learn whe you're tired- laughswithoutfear.com

Shout out to my cat for being today’s model.

I’ve been taking private voice lessons for about 4 years now.  Even if you are not trying to make a career out of singing, voice lessons are a good way to learn about yourself and have fun.  Even professional actors with thriving careers still get vocal coaching, there is always something to learn.

To those of you who aren’t singers, it may surprise you to learn that singing requires your entire body.  Likewise, whatever state your body is in will affect how you sing.  So you can imagine that at the end of an exhausting week, I wouldn’t have much energy left within me to belt out some show tunes.  Of course my voice teacher recognized this right away, and luckily she knew just how to use my exhaustion as a learning experience.

I like to push myself in all areas of my life.  This is a big no, no when it comes to singing.  That is a sure way to damage your voice.  Actually, I suppose that can go for many things…  During my voice lesson I really took the time to slow down and listen to my voice.  Was it damaged?  Was it dry?  Was it just tired?  Then I realized that I hadn’t been listening to my voice at all recently (I mean, this this is supposed to be my money-maker!).  I guess being aware of my voice is one good thing that came from being tired.

Point 1

-Being tired can force you to listen to yourself.  How are you doing?

Well, I thought I sounded awful.  But at least I stopped to listen.  However, I couldn’t find the energy within me to produce the sound I knew I could.  So, my voice instructor told me to understate everything I sang.  You know, not everything can a huge Broadway-belt moment.  It just can’t.  That’s where a lot of the story in every song is: in the quiet moments.

Point 2

-There is good in the quiet moments.  We need quiet to process our thoughts.

So I sang through a song.  If you really want to know, it was “Fly, Fly Away” from Catch Me If You Can.  I sang it horribly, of course.  I didn’t really sound like myself.  I knew this sound wasn’t anything I could present to the faculty at the end of the term.  I didn’t sweat it though, and I certainly didn’t push myself to sound better.

Point 3

-You can’t produce your best work when you’re tired, so don’t put that pressure of yourself.

I’ve never had any belt training.  (You know, that big Broadway sound?  I have no idea how people do that…)  So I asked my teacher how on earth singers achieve that.  With some technical work, I was soon belting out a wave of sound that I had never experienced before!  I got shivers, like I just had a huge breakthrough in my education.

Point 4

-Just because you’re tired doesn’t mean you’re useless.

The most amazing thing I learned was that you can still learn when you’re tired.  It’s just a matter of learning how to learn when you’re tired.  Because, let’s face it: we are going to be tired for most of the time we’re in college.  Let’s not let that time go to waste. 🙂

Little Ways to Cut Negativity Out of Your Life

Little Ways To Cut Negativity Out Of Your Life

What people don’t typically realize is that we have a lot more control over our outlook on life than we may think.  We make decisions every day about how we look at and feel about things, in fact, this may be our own personal superpower that we sorely under use.  Sure, there may be things that get us down no matter what, but lingering in that negativity is completely our choice.  Getting into habits that help you let go of negativity can really help your outlook on life in the long run.

The inspiration for this post came to me at a moment when I was feeling especially sorry for myself, which I’m sure happens to everyone.  I was just unhappy with the whole first-year-of-college experience.  Dorm life, lack of personal space, the dining hall, and loud noises were just getting to me.  Then a thought suddenly struck me: what would I tell someone who was in the same situation as me?

Here are some little ways that you can cut negativity out of your life. 🙂

1)  Clean up your space

I hate looking at a mess, and organizing is actually pretty therapeutic for me.  Spending just a few minutes to make your bed or clear off your desk can do wonders to improve your mood.  After coming home from a long day, it’s nice to have a clean space to look at.

2)  Check what you watch, read, and listen to.

I have been in denial about this subject on several occasions, but the truth is that these things really do affect you.  You may not always realize the effects right away, but I promise they do happen.  There have been several times where I’ve finished a novel, or watched a movie that made me slightly more irritable for days after.  Other times, it just takes your mind to a dark place (example: the Twilight era, now do you believe me?).  Remember, just because you don’t notice a change in your demeanor, doesn’t mean others won’t.

3)  Check who you follow on social media

Omigosh!  This is a big one!  I’m sure we all have those friends on Facebook that drag everyone into their issues, and your energy is better spent elsewhere!  I often go through and unfollow people that have nothing good to say, or even those who I’ve fallen apart from.  The same goes for other platforms of social media.  I’m sure we all like a good joke now and then, but that’s a prime way that negativity seeps into newsfeeds: through humor.  When going through your feed, ask yourself if those who you are following are really uplifting, or if your life would be just as complete without them.

4)  Don’t invest in friends that don’t really care for you

Do you relate to this?  You hang out with the people you happen to be around, even though they may not be your genuine friends.  I certainly do.  I’m not saying to cut these people out of your life completely, after all, we should treat everyone with the type of love that Christ extends to us.  Just don’t invest in a relationship that brings you down.  I listen to people complain about their lives and bash about other people everyday, and acting like that may seem like an easy way to fit in, but participating in this type of attitude is a choice.

5)  Be kind to strangers

Typically, being kind isn’t exactly the priority of most people when they are out and about.  In fact, I’m sure most of us have encountered some very rude people in public.  Nevermind that, just make it your goal to be kind to everyone when you are out.  I like to think of this as a little shield of positivity you can take with you everywhere you go. 🙂  This way, you can guard yourself against negativity and brighten someone else’s day at the same time.

6)  Practice letting things go

This is something you can do all hours of the day.  Of the thousands and thousands of thoughts we have in a day, roughly 80% are negative ones.  When you catch a negative thought entering your head, just let it go.  You won’t gain anything by hanging on to these thoughts, so move on with your life.  Sometimes, my life is just moving too fast for me to manage my thoughts like this, but when I’m in the shower, trying to sleep, on car rides, or even in class I can practice letting go of the negative thoughts that are occupying my brain.  Honestly, this is such a good way to relieve stress and concentrate on the tasks ahead of you.  Sure it takes practice, but it’s worth it!

Did you know that people, actually everybody, is automatically drawn towards negativity?  In fact, that’s what most of the media is built off of.  (Why do you think the Kardashians and Donald Trump are so famous?  Negativity)  Even you love to think negative thoughts, though you may not realize it.  The good news is that you have more control over the negativity in you life than you may realize.  I hope these tips were helpful to you!  Best of luck!