Thursday, August 18, 2016

Honesty or Dirty Laundry? - by Heidi McLaughlin

The month of August is historically very hot in Kelowna, British Columbia. The kind of heat that makes your glasses steam up when you open the oven door. Even though it’s cooler this year, there is a different heat steaming up the air. It’s in the form of a hot question in our mind that we might be afraid to verbalize. So here goes: “When do we cross the line from honesty to hanging out our dirty laundry?” 

I am drawn to authentic, honest people. As I watch the U.S. Presidential campaign and hear the deplorable balderdash, my heart hurts that we transgress from reality and honesty into verbosity and yes; at times lies.  So what is honest authenticity?

The World Craves Honesty
Wouldn’t it be fun to get an honest Christmas letter? Something like this:

“The family trip to Swaziland went off the rails when everyone got sick and the luggage and passports were lost. You're so tired of your children you want to send them to Antarctica or sell them at the next garage sale.”

How refreshing to witness authentic living. I’m not talking about hanging out dirty laundry for sensationalism or getting attention, but being honest about our sometimes messy and complicated lives. We all have them.

With all the deception and duplicity in politics, large corporations and even families, I know that more than ever we crave honesty and authenticity. But we pretend or exaggerate because we want people's attention. We want to feel important, different, admired. So sometimes we cross the line just to know we've been heard.

I want to be an authentic and contagious Christian author and speaker that is not afraid to speak the truth, who has no hidden agenda for self promotion and whose desire is to be honest about my relationship with God and others. So how do I do that?

The Hot Truth
First, I need to be honest to accept and admit my motives, mistakes and shortcomings. Sometimes this might mean talking to someone I can trust, a friend or counsellor. Someone who will listen but not judge me. Then I need to be honest with God because He made me and I know He can handle it. I want to be like David in Psalm 139:23, 24.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Point out anything in me that offends you.”

Hanging out our dirty laundry, perfection and bragging turns people off but I know honesty draws them in. To stand out from the crowd and reflect God’s love, I believe honesty has to be at the top of our list. Make our yes be yes and our no be no. Let it be truth that will stand the test of the refining hot fire.  During these hot summer days, let our hot topics be honest and authentic.

Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is married to Pastor Jack and they have a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. When Heidi is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book, or golf and laugh with her husband and special friends. You can reach her at:

Her latest book RESTLESS FOR MORE: Fulfillment in Unexpected Places was released this July and can be purchased through her website or; or


Peter Black said...

Honesty and authenticity. You've struck on an significant theme there, Heidi. I've no doubt that political discourse, as we currently witness it in our neighbour to the south's presidential race, reflects a madness that induces a head-shaking, heart-aching sadness in wholesome-hearted people.
But the malaise is not confined to them. It does come down to the individual - to us, as you indicate, and especially to us who write and speak publically as Christians. Thank you.~~+~~

Heidi McLaughlin said...

Thank you Peter I always appreciate your wisdom and authentic comments. It's so true, as speakers and authors, more than ever before we need to speak truth.

Heidi McLaughlin said...

Thank you Peter I always appreciate your words of authenticity and wisdom. I believe more than ever we need to speak words of truth and to be honestly vulnerable about our lives.

Glynis said...

Well said, Heidi. Defining authenticity in anything is a challenge these days it seems from presidential candidates to weight loss diets to writing right.

It surely is a challenge for those who speak, too. But I think when we remove our masks and share from the heart as best as we can, then it is a beginning. When we steer clear of judging others and attempting to rip their lives apart, we have all this extra energy and love that flows out and has to go somewhere. Imagine if we forgot self-preservation for a while and shared honest talk and open arms and forgiveness and unconditional love - can we even imagine what the world would be like? Looking forward to that heavenly day!

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