putting others down rather than offering constructive criticism. Being truly honest means that we should be kind and considerate in our relationships with others.
We’re also probably dishonest when we compare ourselves favorably or unfavorably with others. We sometimes decided we were doing well because our behavior and conditions were somewhat better than others in the community. We still had a job, and therefore we weren’t alcoholic like the poor fellow whose drinking has left him unemployable.
AA groups, in order to help alcoholics become honest about their situation, can use a number of questions to help people decide for themselves whether they had crossed the line into alcoholism. In earlier years, most groups used a set of 20 questions reported to have been developed by doctors at an important university hospital. But these have been replaced by a set of 12 questions issued by AA Publishing that explore such matters as loosing jobs because of drinking, being arrested for drinking, sneaking extra drinks at parties, etc. In order to encourage honesty on the part of a newcomer, a sponsor can review the questions with the person and recall his/her own difficulties in these areas.
We are also seeking honesty when we seek truth, which Emmet Fox listed as one of the Seven Main Aspects of God. Many of us believe that God is Truth, and that there is a Spirit of Truth that can lead us to the right thoughts, the right decisions, and the right outcomes. Some of us use this saying from Shakespeare: “To thine own self be true, and thou can’st be false to any man.” If we seek honesty, honesty will find us.