“Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.”
– Proverbs 30:8
Today, I want to give you the second of three tips that will help you embrace a lifestyle of honesty and integrity: apply the five second rule.
I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid we had what was called the five second rule, and it applied to food that was dropped on the ground. If we accidentally let a piece of candy or fruit slip out of our hands and onto the floor, we quickly picked it up and exclaimed, “five second rule!” What that meant was that if we acted fast enough to retrieve the food before five seconds was up, it was still good to eat. Likewise, I encourage you to develop an adult version of the five second rule as it pertains to telling the truth. Whenever you catch yourself about to tell a lie, allow yourself five seconds to turn it around and make it right. For instance, if a friend asks you if you’re available to get together on Friday night, instead of making up a story about how you have a party to go to, respond politely by saying, “I would love to hang out with you, but it’s been a very busy week and I need some time with my family that night.” As uncomfortable as it might be, I guarantee you that they will understand, but even if they don’t, you’ve kept your conscience clear.
Don’t feel obligated to tell a lie to appease the feelings of another, my friend, because it only harms you. You were created to walk in truth and your soul cannot withstand the strain of living in the darkness of falsehood. Instead of scrambling to make up stories, resolve to speak openly and candidly about your feelings, thoughts, and desires, because your voice matters and should be heard. Like Jesus did, let your words be few but weighty; apply the five second rule and tell the truth, even when it hurts.
I pray for courage and strength, Jesus, to apply the five second rule and speak the truth, even in awkward situations.
Do you tend to tell social lies? How might the five second rule help you?