Posted by: grantahelms | May 14, 2012

Growing Up Is Hard To Do

Today I am feeling a little whimsical. At this middle-aged time in my life, I have felt that I had come to a point that I was able to give some decent advice. I have lived through many advances in life such as space travel, black and white to color TV, rotary to push button phones, the Internet, cell phones, etc. I have also suffered many disappointments: Vietnam and countless other wars that our country has been engaged in, loss of my grandparents, divorce, prison, 9/11 and other terrorist actions, etc. Like a baby, we slowly grow both physically and mentally. Do either of the following pictures bring certain ” AHH HAH !!!” moments to mind?

I warned you that I was feeling whimsical. Do children ever seriously believe that spoons sound like airplanes? And the other one I don’t understand! Isn’t mom’s real name Mom? I mean come on, she’s always been Mom and he’s always been Dad. Do you mean to tell me that others call them something else? But seriously, when did you begin to learn the real truths about life? That because someone “loves” you today doesn’t mean they will tomorrow, that those you care about won’t live forever, that protecting our freedoms means destroying someone’s way of life halfway around the world, etc. Isn’t this the truth? Recently, I have been trying to help my two oldest boys with my wisdom. Unfortunately they seem to think that I’m crazy! I told my oldest that if he would do the journals in my College 103 book that he might figure out who he is. He agreed and then two days later told me that a book couldn’t help him find out who he was. So what’s the deal? Did he think I was lying or is it a case of “Old man/young man syndrome”?

” What is truth and honesty?”

My whole life I have been told to be honest and truthful with others or people would consider you to be a LIAR. That was some good advice from my parents and something that I’ve always tried to live by. The only thing that they failed to explain was that you have to be honest with yourself. It’s kind of like love. The Bible asks” How can a man love others if he doesn’t love himself?”. So I question “How can you be honest with others if you’re not honest with yourself?”. So, are you honest with yourself? Mostly, I doubt it. This dishonesty is called many things: Biting your tongue, Being politically correct, Stretching the truth, Telling someone what they want to hear, Sugar-coating, etc. Does any of this sound familiar? Are you GUILTY? We all are. We are all victims of our own making. Why do we say things that aren’t the “honest” truth? Maybe we don’t want to be rude. Maybe we don’t want to hurt others while they’re grieving. Maybe we don’t want to be a “bully”. I don’t have the answers. Not all of them anyway. I know what the Bible teaches me. I also know that not all believe the Bible. So, what do you think?

” Is sugar-coating dishonest to you?”

” Do you refrain from being completely honest so as not to appear rude?”

” What other core values do we have that have been perverted?”

Just remember, I’m not trying to down anyone. I just wonder if you ever considered that you weren’t being honest with yourself. God Bless All, Grant



  1. Honestly…I’m probably not always willing to be honest with myself. Some truths are hard pills to swallow.

    • Thanks for the comment Steve. In this case it’s probably the proverbial “horse pill”, almost too big to swallow. God Bless You, Grant

  2. Interesting, being politically correct equates to dishonesty? I would say most of the time it doesn’t, more it equates to social evolution. Some people are slower than others certainly, but failure maintain a socially acceptable standard of communication is not the same thing as honest / dishonest in my humble opinion.

    I suspect people often mistake cruelty with honesty. It is unnecessary to remark on every aspect of another persons life and choices. There is a very fine line between being nosy and being caring. Biting ones tongue, well there are times when you should do it, when you should apply the most pressure possible to your own appendage without biting through and causing a bloody mess.

    I could go on, I suspect you get the gist. One can go overboard with ‘honesty’. Do you tell your wife she doesn’t look beautiful, when the dress she is wearing isn’t your favorite but is hers; or instead do you bite your tongue and tell her she is gorgeous? Do you hang the latest finger-painting on your fridge by your child despite its less than extraordinary outcome; or instead do you tell that child it is ugly and doesn’t match your decor?

    Do you honestly believe that those who don’t ‘believe’ in the Bible don’t have a moral center and don’t understand the definition of honesty? Self-exploration?

    Really Grant, many of us myself included take issue with the way in which the Bible is shoved into the public forum and misinterpreted by man. It doesn’t mean we haven’t and don’t read it.

    • My dearest Val, In an effort to keep the comment section shorter than the blog, I only have a few things to say. I wasn’t questioning anyone’s moral character or passing judgement. I was simply stating my “humble” opinion. As for shoving the Bible, if that was my intention I would completely rearrange the basis of my blog. Thanks for the comments. God Bless You, Grant

  3. Lies are lies every time. Does that mean we go up to people and tell them that they have an ugly shirt on? That’s ridiculous, of course not. If you understand things like the Johari Window in sociology, there are levels of relational foundation. Basically, if I don’t know you at all, I have no right to address blind areas in your life. But, if you are my friend, I should be able to tell you something that might be blind to you, out of love, in order to help you. The goal is never to bash anyone else. For one example, if someone’s behavior dishonors God and they claim to follow Him, we have a responsibility to help them, just like they would us. (1 Peter 2:12)

    As a side note, I don’t see any Bible being shoved into the public. If anything, I see the Bible being removed from any public place. Where is the misrepresentation happening?

    • Derek the public includes all members, all citizens. That means it includes non-Christians. Since this is a Secular nation of Laws the Bible, as with any other Holy book belongs only in churches and homes of Believers.

      • So, you would say that we should never talk about our beliefs? A secular worldview could be viewed as a system of beliefs also. There are people of any religion who would take issue with a purely secular position to public discourse as well. Each individual has the right to believe in whatever they want to believe in. They also have the right to talk about those beliefs. If someone doesn’t agree, that is their choice. This is what makes this nation free. When we start telling people to stop talking about what they believe in, well I think that limits that. I hope that clarifies my point here.

  4. Derek – you misunderstand me. A secular nation, means no ‘religious’ system be it Christian or otherwise can be legislated. This is simple. It means that you have the protected civil right to your beliefs, as does everyone else. That by the way is the beauty of secular laws and a secular nation.

    Talking about them? Absolutely, you have every right to talk about them. I would go you one further, I strongly support comparative religion being taught in public schools (this means all the major religions). I think it is important that young people understand how our societies developed. The interactions, the differences and similarities between us.

    What I strongly protest is the idea that anyone would demand their personal beliefs be legislated at the expense of the civil rights of others.

    • You are right, I did misunderstand you on what you meant by secular.
      Comparative religions being taught is fine. Unfortunately in the school here, they taught Christianity without Jesus. So, I would be find with that as long as they taught each religion accurately.

      • To Val and Derek,
        Thank you both for continuing the discussion without me. I didn’t know at the time that I wrote this particular blog that it would bring out such discussion. Derek, I have never heard of the Johari Window, but I would be interested in learning more. Val, I totally agree with you about the comparative teachings of religions, as a section of world history, but who would we find to accurately teach. I mean face it, most people are religious or not. Wouldn’t this lead to a biased structure. How could someone who is Hindu teach an accurate representation of Christianity? Or a teacher who is Jewish, or Buddhist, or even Atheist? And so we continue these discussions. But in the rude honesty of it all, I’ve said before that if someone is offended by what I write, don’t read! It’s no different than me passing the nude bar or other things that offend me and me choosing not to enter. Thanks for everyone’s support. And, let’s not forget, God Bless You ALL, Grant

  5. My dear brother Grant as you well know I myself have lived a hard long life much like your’s. I do believe that sometimes we need to sugarcoat things to make them easier to shallow. Some people can not handle the truth if they looked it square in the eye. And you know that as children we didn’t believe only half of what we were told. As we grow we see how life really is. And as I said some people will never understand without trying to make things go thier way all of the time even after they grow old.


    • Thanks Jim. The only prob is that I’m tired of sugar-coating! Love you and God Bless, Grant

  6. The Johari window basically deals with how people interact within groups. There are 4 quadrants. Areas that only you know, areas that everyone knows, areas that others know and you don’t (blind spots) and areas that no one knows (discovery) For example, I walk into a room of men from the church. I know that they are men, I know that they like coffee because they are drinking some, I know that it is raining outside — these are very surface level things. But, if I ask the question of someone about how things are going with their wife, I have just opened up the window a bit and they now reveal to me something that I wouldn’t have known. At the same time, you might have some glaring issue that you don’t see, I can point that out to you, provided I have a relationship with you to do that. — It makes more sense as a picture, if search for it on the internet you should be able to get a picture of it. It is quite remarkable. The goal is to increase your relational foundation. “open the window” so you know more about yourself and each other —

    • Thanks Derek. This seems similar to something that I learned in College 103. It referred to Time Management. Quad 1 are things that are urgent but not necessary. Quad 2 are urgent and necessary. Quad 3 are not urgent but necessary. Quad 4 are not urgent and not necessary. The objective is to rearrange or complete projects so that most of your life is in Quad 3. Thanks for the info. God Bless You, Grant

  7. Wow! I believe in complete honesty. I also believe you don’t have to share the honesty. With everyone at every level. I wish I could say I am honest with myself, but I am human. I prod for blind spots on a frequent basis, and God shines a light into it, showing me as much as I can handle at a time– OUCH!!! I think we have come to value other’s feelings more than honesty in society. We don’t have to speak out all the time, but we should when important or when pushed. If you invite me to speak, however, be prepared to hear the truth and don’t get mad if you don’t like it. Inviting can mean asking, but it can mean a behavior in my face and more. Difficult discourse! Angie

    • Thanks for the comment Angie. I really had a hard time with this one but I felt like it needed to be said. The whole time I felt like the old saying of what do you answer when your wife wants to know if a pair of jeans makes her butt look big. Is it better to let others joke about her or to move the TV to the doghouse? Like you said, difficult discourse! God Bless You, Grant

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