During my adolescent years, my mother instilled the phrase "honesty is the best policy" time and time again.

That saying reminds me of an important value we all should treasure, honesty. Honesty is an integral part of our character and one of the most basic elements needed for a positive social relationship. Successful relationships all depend on genuine, open, honest people.

In 1978, Billy Joel, recorded the song "Honesty." In the chorus of that song, you hear, "Honesty is such a lonely word; everyone is so untrue. Honesty is hardly ever heard and mostly what I need from you."

Have you ever had a difficult time working with a dishonest person? They lied about something small or exaggerated their accomplishments. Then, one day they are late for work and lie about what happened.

No one likes to have a team member they can't trust. Those who choose to bend the truth compromise their character. They are not trusted and can't be trusted with important jobs.

No one really wants dishonesty at home or work, and all of us have fallen short on that mark. So, let's try a new approach. Let's be honest, even when it hurts. That means not allowing yourself to get caught up in those exaggerated moments where we feel the need to exaggerate and compromise the truth.

Those who know us best, also know and experience our integrity and honesty the most. What better place to practice honesty, than with those who have invested time and love in you? Try using honesty. Once those around you see that you are a trustworthy person, you will be amazed at what can happen.

God's word says in Luke 16:10, "Anyone who can be trusted in little matters can also be trusted in important matters. But anyone who is dishonest in little matters will be dishonest in important matters."

So, share your accomplishments and failures accurately both at home and work without erroneous bragging.

Friends, co-workers and Family understand that people make mistakes. When you look in the mirror of your life, hear the voice of honesty. There's nothing to cover-up, no guilt, no worry, no sleepless nights worrying, just a clear conscious ready to meet another caring and trusted friend.

(Editor's note: Coffman is the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood deputy chaplain.)