Are You Honest?

“And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.” (Luke 8:15 NLT)

Honesty in the Bible means far more than telling the truth or not cheating someone. Honesty in Scripture is more about what you are than what you do. It’s not simply how you behave, it’s what prompts or motivates that behavior. Using the above verse as a guide, let’s look at what it means to be honest.

The context is Jesus’ explanation of the parable of the farmer scattering seed. The seed is God’s word, and the different soils represent the responses of people who hear the word. The good soil is what we want to look at in this post because therein we see the characteristics of someone who is going to be responsive and fruitful.

First, they’re honest. The word used in this verse that’s translated “honest” means “beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, admirable, genuine, approved, morally good, noble.” There are more, but that’s enough to see more clearly the kind of person Jesus was pointing to. And don’t misunderstand, “beautiful” and “handsome” aren’t physical characteristics, but more personality traits.

It means you’re attractive from the standpoint of your character; how you respond to and treat people. You make others feel important, desired, welcome, wanted. You have a quality about you that draws people and helps them to listen more attentively when you speak, especially as it relates to God’s Word.

Second, they’re good-hearted. The word “heart” can often be used in Scripture interchangeably with “soul,” and refers to the “seat of the sensibilities, affections, emotions, desires, appetites, passions.” Think of the cockpit of an airplane. It’s essentially the control center of a person’s life. If you have a good heart your life will move in a good direction.

There are people who have a good heart who aren’t Jesus followers. We tend to think of “good” people as godly people, but they’re not one and the same. Notice that Jesus is speaking of the type of soil on which the seed falls. All four types of people are pre-Christian. The ones with a good heart are often more receptive and, thus, more fruitful once they yield their life and allegiance to Jesus.

Photo by Matthew Barra on

Third, when they hear God’s Word and embrace it, they cling to it. The word means “to hold fast, keep secure, keep firm possession of.” The picture painted is the pilot of a huge ship keeping it going on the right path, in the right direction. It’s the person who takes hold of Jesus and won’t let go. Trials, struggles, heartbreak, pain, and anguish only cause them to hold on to Him more tightly.

Fourth, they become very fruitful as a believer. Notice the verse says: “and patiently produce a huge harvest.“  Fruitfulness takes time and effort. You don’t plow a field, plant, and harvest in a day. As it relates to pointing loved ones and friends to Jesus, it can take years, but the attitude expressed here is “take your time, I’m not going anywhere.”

Implicit in honesty is dependability, firmness, not easily shaken or derailed. In a recent Turning Point devotion David Jeremiah wrote: “Above all, be a person whose word can be trusted. Don’t rely on oaths (“I promise”) to convince others you are speaking the truth.”

Richard Sibbes wrote: “The life of an honest man is an oath.” The person of whom Jesus speaks in this verse is a person whose life is all the proof someone needs to convince them they’re honest.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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