4 min read

Honesty, Honor, and Hogwash

Hogwash has a way of speaking louder than honesty or honor. Let’s be discerning when listening to the media or teaching.
Honesty, Honor, and Hogwash
Photo by Kenneth Schipper Vera / Unsplash

Honesty is something we look for in those closest to us. Finding a friend to be dishonest will often cause strain in the relationship; it’s been known to break even the strongest of bonds between people. Honesty aims to convey truth and is of paramount importance to God since it is an essential aspect of His nature and purposes. He requires it of those whom He calls His own.

Honor usually accompanies honesty as trust is built on truthfulness. It is a social term describing how we evaluate others. Honor is an attitude of deep respect and even reverence of a sort. Genuine honor leads to appropriate attention and can be shown through obedience when it relates to those in authority (God, parents, etc.). Without these elements, honor is incomplete and insincere–lip service.

And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men.” (Isaiah 29:13)

God is honored when His people do things that please him; parents are honored through the obedience of their children.

But, then there’s hogwash! Unacceptable behavior or ludicrously false statements. Perhaps the term “nonsense” would be more familiar to you. Regardless, hogwash can be described as behavior or words void of honesty and honor.

God’s wisdom speaking through Solomon’s words in many of the Proverbs is often dismissed without due consideration.

The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin. Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. Whoever winks the eye causes trouble, and a babbling fool will come to ruin. The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. (Pr 10:8–11).

In this scripture, we find wisdom connected with honor (obedience) with hogwash (nonsense) leading to ruin. Integrity (honesty) is linked to steadfastness while those who resist integrity will be exposed. The babbling fool once again finds his hogwash leading to ruin. But–and this must be our goal–the mouth of the righteous, or the one who lives honestly and with honor, is a fountain of life. Sadly, our world is filled with those who lack those qualities that emulate those of our Father.

You can’t help but pray for discernment as you read and listen to today’s media. Frankly, so little of what is being said resembles honesty or can be considered honorable. If we set calm our tickling ears and look for truth, we’ll find so much of what is being reported as “truth” is nothing but hogwash. The media wants to build popularity and ratings and, unfortunately, has little interest in integrity.

But, what about the pulpit? Are the words being preached by the shepherd of a local congregation those of honor and honesty? Are the words pure and full of integrity? How do we know if they’re not? I sense the Father’s heart is grieved by much of what comes from the pulpit with a Gospel label. So often, the words are meant to manipulate favor, ease consciences, and build the treasury. When you compare the preaching of many today, you find little resemblance to that of Jesus’ earthly ministry when, in fact, He should be the example for every teacher, preacher, pastor, evangelist, and expounder of God’s Word. For the listener, it is incumbent upon us all to judge what is being presented as truth. Here are some ways we can do that:

  • Take notes then go home, pray for discernment and understanding, then open your Bible and concordance and search the Scriptures with a sincere heart, not one to condemn or find fault, but one who desperately desires truth.
  • Treat the Scriptures with reverence and awe because they reveal the heart of God to us. Too often we hear sermons built on verses taken out of context which can be used to manipulate those listening to believe a partial truth or even a non-truth. Search the Scriptures for yourself and learn the context of the key verses you’ve heard and follow the references to learn the context and the culture and the intent behind what is being said.
  • Pray for understanding. We don’t need a college education for God to reveal His truth to us. He looks for the heart truly and sincerely seeking Him and promises He will be found. If we seek the truth (and Jesus IS truth), the truth will be found. Our Father would never mislead one who sincerely seeks to know Him in truth.

Hogwash has a way of speaking louder than honesty or honor. Let’s be discerning when listening to the media or teaching. Use wisdom when repeating what you’ve read or heard without taking the time to verify the truth. Put a guard on your mouth, your mind, and your heart, and don’t accept anything that you don’t know to be honest or honorable. Resist the hogwash that is meant to distract and undermine the truth.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their the passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (2 Ti 4:3-4)

Father, lead us into Truth; help us seek Truth and recognize anything that is not sound teaching. Help us cling to You as our Source of ALL Truth, amen!

© Jan Ross
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