Friday, May 3, 2019

Outdoor Object Lesson 96: Transparent Honesty


Key Text

“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:16


Thing of something that is transparent or see-through. What did you think of? The first thing to come to most people’s mind is glass. The most beneficial thing about glass is that we can see through it, yet it provides a barrier. Now, can you think of something living that is transparent? This is a bit harder. There are living organisms that have transparent parts. For example, the common house fly (Musca domestica) has transparent wings. How about a plant, have you ever seen a plant with see-through parts?

The flowering plant known as honesty (Lunaria annua or Lunaria rediviva) has large flat seed pods that grow to be about the size of a U.S. quarter ($0.25) or larger. This plant produces beautiful purple or white flowers. It is native to Europe but grows in the United States well especially in warmer areas.1 As it grows, it produces its large thin seed pods that start off green. As the seed pods dry and prepare to disperse their seeds, the paper-thin fleshy sides turn translucent and you can see the seeds inside. This see-through characteristic gave rise to the plants name—honesty.

When we are honest, we are transparent, or see-through about the truth. We are upfront about our intentions. We do not cloud or distort the truth or make it hard for people to ‘see’. Being transparent or see-through has long been a metaphor representing honesty. "Perfect sincerity and transparency make a great part of beauty, as in dewdrops, lakes, and diamonds." ~ Henry David Thoreau

Paul discusses the benefit of being open and transparent about actions and intentions (2 Corinthians 1:12–23). God considers honesty and telling the truth so important he included it in the Ten Commandments. Honesty is at the heart of our Key Text which is the ninth commandment. The thing about lying is that no matter how good you are at it, the truth is always transparent to God. Just like you can see the seeds inside the seedpod of the honesty plant, God can see your true thoughts and intentions. The Bible says man looks on the outward appearance but God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Jesus promised that those who are honest and pure in heart will see God (Matthew 5:8). Honesty is the best policy.


Why is it hard to tell the truth sometimes?

How will your belief about God impact your commitment to honesty?

Why do humans lie and twist the truth so often?

Do you think it is ok to lie sometimes? Why or why not?


1. Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Honesty,” Encyclopedia Britannica online, last modified May 12, 2015, accessed May 3, 2019 from

Written by David F. Garner
Photo credit: MabelAmber via