Has someone recently spoken to you and preceded their statement with the phrase, “To be honest”? Perhaps it sounded something like this, “To be honest, I really don’t drink coffee after 5:00 pm because it keeps me awake at night.”
There’s a good chance that you hear someone say this to you more than once a day. I hear this statement several times a day when others are speaking to me, when I’m listening to a newscast on radio or television and when I’m listening to a conversation between other people. If you start listening for the phrase, you might be surprised how often you will hear it.
My first reaction is to wonder, “Up until this point in the conversation, has the person not been honest? Or have they been less than honest, which is to say that they have not been telling the truth?” For some reason, this cliché has crept into our culture. Perhaps with all of the misinformation and half-truths that bombard our brains each day, this phrase is simply a way of saying, “You may not hear the truth from others, but I am going to tell you something that contains absolutely no false information.” Who’s to say what the real motivation behind this phrase might be?
Wouldn’t it be great to live your life in such a manner that when you speak to others, you wouldn’t have to proclaim your honesty each time you made a statement? Your commitment to the truth would be such a part of your character that you would have a reputation of always speaking honestly and truthfully. Isn’t this the person you want to be? Isn’t this the kind of person with whom you want to associate? “To be honest,” it’s the kind of reputation I would like to have.