Website owner: James Miller
One of the greatest mistakes that a great many people make involves dishonesty in speech. They are careless in the statements they make or they exaggerate or distort or just plain lie. Reason, Wisdom, and Understanding call for integrity and honesty in speech. What happens when we make some statement that is wrong? Well, we are likely to be found out. The people surrounding us are likely to have sharper eyes than we may think. They may just note in their minds the error in our words or they may confront us. Errors in statements can come from dishonesty or from false ideas or ignorance. None of these are complimentary. None of us likes to be accused of them. So what happens when we are confronted by someone about the correctness of an assertion we have made? Well, if this happens with one of those rare individuals who just happens to be an honest man, a sincere lover of truth, a man of integrity, he will probably humbly question you about why you are questioning his assertion and after carefully considering what you have to say decide if he agrees with you or not. If he decides that you are right and he is wrong he will humbly reply, "You are absolutely right and I was wrong." However, unfortunately, a great many people are not this type of person. So how do they respond when they are confronted in their error? Well, they regard it as an affront. The natural inclination is to defend yourself. One of the most common responses is anger. They hit the roof; erupt like a volcano, shooting fire ten miles high; they take the attitude, "How dare you challenge me?" and go on the offensive with all kinds of argument, challenges and ugly words. So what has happened here? They have made one moral error (i.e. one sin) by their false statement and it has become compounded by a lot more moral errors (i.e. more sins) -- for anger, argument, and arrogance are all moral errors (i.e. they are sins). Dishonesty in speech is closely connected with dishonesty in thought. Errors in speech are closely connected with errors in thought. Errors in thought, whether they come from careless or lazy thinking, ignorance or wherever, tend to reveal themselves as errors in speech. Dishonesty in thought, dishonest and warped thinking, tends to reveal itself in dishonesty in speech. Foolish ideas that we have talked ourselves into believing, that we have foolishly convinced ourselves of for whatever reason (whether it be reasons of ego, pride or whatever), tend to make their way to the tongue. [ Example: the man who has talked himself into believing that he is the greatest thing that has ever walked the face of the earth usually reveals the idea in his speech. ] Moreover, falsehoods that we talk ourselves into believing (or come to believe in one way or another) infect later thought and create more false ideas. Ideas build up on top of each other. If foundation assumptions are fallacious and we build upon fallacious assumptions we get an entire edifice that is bad. The thoughts we think and the beliefs, opinions and attitudes that we gradually come to program us. They influence and control later thought and development and shape what we become. If they are fallacious or wrong they shape us wrongly. Not only does error in thought tend to lead to error in speech but the reverse is also true. False assertions made to others tend to influence subsequent thought. Why? Because when people make false statements to others they tend to come to believe them themselves. They tend to come to believe their own falsehoods. Once people have set themselves on a course they don't like to admit they are wrong. They tend to stick with that course even if it is a wrong one. Rather than examining and questioning the course they tend to defend it. It is a matter of ego. Thus a false course, once set on, tends to result in self-deception. What lies behind honesty and carefulness in thought and speech? It is love of truth, a sincere belief in truthfulness and honesty. It arises from the soul that loves Truth, Wisdom and Understanding. Underlying it is a personal commitment to Understanding and Truth. It is a mental outlook and set of mental habits that values truthfulness, honesty, justness, fairness, impartiality and objectiveness. And very closely related to all of this is love of God. An honest man is honest in his appraisals even of his worst enemy. He gives even those he dislikes due credit for whatever they deserve. He treats everyone justly and fairly, even an enemy. By habit he thinks impartially and objectively. He is not a creature of impulse. He is a creature of reason and thought. His first allegiance is to God and Truth. The soul that is committed to Truth is concerned about his words, that they be honest and true. He watches his words, monitors them, takes care to be sure that they are correct. He watches his wording and phraseology, takes his speech seriously, speaks responsibly, qualifies what he says carefully. If his assertions come from some source he quotes the source. He tries to provide the basis for his assertions, exhibiting the rationale on which they are based. Jun(?) 2006 More from SolitaryRoad.com:
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