Wednesday, April 25, 2012

To Be Perfectly Honest by Phil Callaway

Would you be willing to take a year long commitment to not lie in any situation? Would you be willing to tell the truth in every situation? Phil Callaway did. In his new book, To Be Perfectly Honest, Callaway shares the insights he learned on his year long journey of truth telling.

Well, sort of. He shared many of his thoughts. I could tell from the very beginning of the book that Callaway is a well established writer and humorist. And I emphasize humorist. It did seem as though at every angle of this book, he was looking for the joke to tell. One of the recurring portions in the book was his interaction with a friend at church that told jokes. He had to tell his friend that his jokes were not that funny, and that he could not give him a courtesy laugh anymore because of his commitment to tell the truth. At many parts of this book, I felt like I should laugh, but it would have been a courtesy laugh. There were some funny things that happened to him, but there were other parts that felt like his friend telling dumb jokes.

That doesn't mean I did not enjoy the book. I did. But I think what I enjoyed more than the book was the concept of the book. What would life be like if everyone told the truth. Always. Not because of some commitment, but because they love Jesus, who is the Truth. Maybe a book like this is cute and funny because we are much too easily deceived at thinking that little lies are okay. Maybe this book can sell because we have become numb to the reality that a Christian should not lie. Ever. Not because of the trouble it might get them in, but because it offends a truthful God.

I also found myself wondering if there is a difference between living a life that tells the truth and living a life of truth, which I think is a subtle difference. The subtitle of the book is "One Man's Year of Almost Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie." It does not say that a man telling the truth, but living truthfully. What would life be like if we are just completely honest with everyone at all times? Honest with our hurts. Honest with our struggles. Honest with our successes. Honest with our walk with Jesus. Honest with our time in God's Word. Honest with our doubts. What would that look like in the church?

I am thankful to have read this book. It has made me think. Even though there were parts of it that I really didn't care for, it has made me evaluate some things in my life. You might wonder how a commitment like this would change someone? Here are his final thoughts:
"For starters, I'm more honest in prayer. This thing about trying to impress God was laughable. I've also learned how far short I land trying to right things on my own. I speak the truth more speedily now, less concerned with what people say about me when I'm out of earshot. I've learned to be kinder to others, having never walked around in their slippers. And I've learned to appreciate the words of the great American theologian Tim McGraw: 'Live like you were dying' . . . Someone asked me the other day if I'll ever tell a lie again. I said, 'Probably... Wait, yes, I'm sure I will .' I know to much about my inner workings to deceive myself into thinking that I have this problem licked. but I don't think I can lie again without a sense of sorrow and a longing for the joy and peace of an honest life" (188-9).
I received a free copy of To Be Perfectly Honest by Phil Callaway from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for review. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.