Honest with the Devil

I once heard someone whom I respected greatly justify her ill actions toward another with the interesting phrase, “You don’t have to be honest with the devil.” The statement intrigued me at the time and I have to admit, sounded reasonable at a certain level. I mean, who would be honest with the devil, if the fate something precious were at stake?

But then I thought about it a little further. I am of the mind that says “do no evil,” which stems from an underlying philosophy of “resist not evil.” This statement of being is absolute. As such, there are no exceptions…not for someone with whom I have ill will, not for someone who has treated me unjustly, and not for someone whom I have (which I never have and never will) deemed a devil.

The mistake, I think the person was making was that she assumed that not being honest with the devil implied that she could be dishonest with him, her or it. The end (give that ol’ devil a smack down), in her mind, justified the means. This faulty logic led a supposedly God-fearing woman to act positively devilishly! What’s worse is that she did so shamelessly.

Now I don’t imagine that this cliche (in some circles) began as a trite and spineless suggestion, in fact I imagine that it was initially spoken with a very different meaning in mind, one that is much more closely aligned with the truth of love.

If you make cozenage, betrayal, or dissimulating your bedfellows, you are in bed with the source of those ill spirits. Call me naïve, but to my mind it’s that simple.

The truth of love is a radiant, forthright, honest, and transparent and never pusillanimous, underhanded, malicious, or secretive.

2 thoughts on “Honest with the Devil

  1. Carol

    I really appreciate your thoughts here Gregg. It confuses the field when honesty and forthrightness are not the mainstay of our expression. We can provide that even if someone else is not. There are blind spots that may not be seen and won’t ever be if we aren’t honest with ourselves and others. People long for relationships that are creative, fun and purposeful. We make choices everyday in the way we treat those closest to us.


  2. Your freeing words lead to clarity. Freedom from the entangling influences stemming from the void created from a lack of true thinking. Yes it is good to think further on that which is spoken to us even from those we have respect for. This world has been full of enticing entanglements of which no one is exempt. The simplicity of the qualities of radiance, honesty and transparency are those founded on the rock of reality. It is good to consider these things being able to discern what is true from what is not. Thank you for the encouragement to establish a pure heart that is reverent to God.


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