Honesty is in principle, an upright disposition; moral rectitude of heart; a disposition to conform to justice and correct moral principles, in all social transactions. In fact, upright conduct; an actual conformity to justice and moral rectitude; fairness; candor; truth; as the honesty of a narrative; frank sincerity. Honesty is chiefly applicable to social transactions, or mutual dealings in the exchange of property.Webster’s American Dictionary

Honesty is the quality or condition of being honest; integrity; truthfulness; sincerity. Honesty, honor, integrity, probity, and rectitude denote the quality of being upright in principle and actionOxford English Dictionary

“We each stand alone and upright as a pillar unto our own honesty, honor, and integrity.”—Edna Lister

Honesty implies truthfulness, fairness in dealing with others, and refusal to engage in fraud, deceit, or dissembling. Honesty is an absolute and an abstract principle, a law of being, and a virtue. Honesty is being upright in mind and ethics, a factor in our moral syzygy (alignment).

Edna Lister on Honesty

John Fletcher, a playwright who co-authored with William Shakespeare, said, Man is his own star and the soul that can render an honest and perfect man commands all light, all influence, all fate.—Edna Lister, The Word, September 18, 1934.

God has given you the power of an upright mind.—Edna Lister, February 7, 1939.

Illumination tells you whether a thing is true, honest or just.—Edna Lister, The Jewels of the Madonna, July 9, 1944.

Unless you desire to serve in illusion and lead others into illusion, you must raise the veil by plodding practice, honest and honorable obedience to law.—Edna Lister, October 20, 1944.

Become observant of self-delusions, to speak truth upon each thought, action, desire of self. It teaches you law as well as forming a bulwark against misuse of law.—Edna Lister, January 4, 1945.

We each stand alone and upright as a pillar unto our own honesty, honor, and integrity.—Edna Lister, July 2, 1945.

You must practice extreme honesty and honor with your self at all times. No selfishness, supplied by the subconscious through reasoning, may be allowed, ever. Be not dishonest or dishonorable with self.—Edna Lister, July 10, 1945.

Live by the Declaration of Unquenchable Love honestly.—Edna Lister, July 13, 1949.

You must have the uprightness of joy.—Edna Lister, July 22, 1949.

The first conscious memory is just a beginning in a self-analysis. If you are really honest, you will dig out the cause.—Edna Lister, December 18, 1952.

Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.—Philippians 4:8. When you think on things of praiseworthy virtue, your imagination must build the right molds.—Edna Lister, What Is Your Gift? June 12, 1955.

When you have become the law of honesty, you no longer lie or steal; you do not boast about not lying or stealing, and you never accuse the other fellow.—Edna Lister, Ambassadors of Love, July 8, 1956.

Examine your pride regularly, for it often keeps you from being honest.—Edna Lister, July 24, 1958.

Do not exalt your sense of honesty at the expense of others. Your responsibility is to yourself and you must rise to a much higher sense of honor.—Edna Lister, Steadfastness Through Vigilance, June 19, 1960.

You must be honest with God, and with your self.—Edna Lister, Comprehension and Recompense, November 7, 1965.

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New Testament on Honesty

Provide things honest in the sight of all men.—Romans 12:17.

Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.—Romans 13:13.

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.—1 Peter 5:2-4.

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Old Testament on Honesty

Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.—Psalm 15.

Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.—Psalm 37:37.

Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness—Psalm 112:4.

Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, but he who gathers by labor will increase.—Proverbs 13:11.

An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.—Proverbs 29:27.

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Insight on dying young: He pleased God, and was beloved of him, so that he was translated; speedily he was taken away, lest wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul. For the glamor of immorality obscures things that are honest; and the wandering of selfish desires undermines the simple mind. He, being made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long time: For his soul pleased the Lord: therefore hastened He to take him away.—Wisdom of Solomon 4:10-14.

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of honesty: Latin honestus, "honorable," from honos, "honor."

Honesty is an absolute principle.

Honesty is an abstract principle.

Honesty is a law of being.

Honesty is a soul virtue.


Honesty is the best policy.—Benjamin Franklin

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.—Thomas Jefferson

The very spring and root of honesty and virtue lie in good education.—Plutarch

No legacy is so rich as honesty.—William Shakespeare


Franklin, Benjamin. Franklin Papers.org.

Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Jefferson, Thomas. letter to Nathaniel Macon, January 12, 1819.

The Nag Hammadi Library. James M. Robinson, ed. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1988.

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Ed., 2 vols. E.S.C. Weiner, ed. Oxford University Press, 1971.

Plutarch. On the Training of Children. Plutarch’s Moralia: Twenty Essays by Plutarch. Philemon Holland, translator. London: Dent; New York: Dutton, 1911.

Shakespeare, William All’s Well That Ends Well, Act 3, Scene 5.

Webster, Noah. "Honesty," Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: S. Converse, 1828.

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