Given how I sometimes tend to fall behind in my bible study, I took some extra time to commit myself into the journey through Sarah Arthur’s Walking With Frodo Devotional. Now a little more than half way through the study, I examine yet another side character who knows a thing or two about honesty.
“Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.”
James E. Faust
Eomer: When The Truth Hurts Part I
Have you ever found yourself between a rock and a hard place with a friend, loved one, maybe even a family member? Perhaps you have discovered yourself in the midst of a situation where you felt very much like you were caught in a game of monkey in the middle and you were the monkey?
The character of Eomer in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings could relate. A loyal protector of Rohan Eomer struggled as he watched his uncle, the King Theoden, wither away. Likewise he had to tread on the side of caution as Grima Wormtongue rose to power. Seeing the grave injustices being done upon the land and people, Eomer had to position himself between his ailing uncle and the worm that had wriggled his way into the position of the king’s right hand man.
Talk about awkward!
Given the situation, he could choose to do nothing. He could just let Wormtongue continue to hurt his king, people, and land. Eomer could turn a blind eye on it all and simply ignore the things he does not like. He could even pretend there is nothing wrong.
No, on the contrary, Eomer does the opposite. He makes a stand! Whatever the risk, and possibly knowing them, this rider of Rohan confronts his ailing liege hoping to reveal the ugly truth. Painful as it is, the poor king was oblivious to the pain and suffering he was surrounded by as well as presently in.
And The Truth Shall Set You Free
In Sarah Arthur’s reflecting on honesty, she asks a valid question. That question:
Why is it so hard to be honest?
Why is it so hard to tell the truth? Is it because we fear the response? No doubt there are times we have no wish to hurt someone’s feelings, so in effort to protect them, we omit the truth. At others, it can simply be the case of we do not want to get our noses into other people’s business. Even more likely, we are afraid of rejection.
Yes, there is nothing quite so disarming of the truth as the pain of rejection or animosity.
What We Can Learn From Eomer
What can we learn from Eomer’s example?
Sarah Arthur writes:
Love dares to speak the truth, no matter what the cost.
The truth not only liberates us from sin. It saves us from death and condemnation. This is why we are likewise instructed to lead our brothers and sisters in Christ away from the wickedness and evil of sin.
James 5:19-20 New International Version (NIV)
19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
What The Bible Teaches About Honesty
Proverbs 12:17-22 New International Version (NIV)
17 An honest witness tells the truth, but a false witness tells lies. 18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. 19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. 20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy. 21 No harm overtakes the righteous, but the wicked have their fill of trouble. 22 The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.