July 10, 2014
“For we take thought beforehand and aim to be honest and absolutely above suspicion, not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of men.”
II Corinthians 8: 21
Character Counts – Part I
“Honesty” – Incorruptible. Not deceptive or fraudulent. Genuine.
“Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.”
Do I make honesty a vital part of my life?
“No honest man ever repented of his honesty.”
“If it is not right, do not do it; if it is not true, do not say it.”
There are many lessons we can learn from the life of David but today I want to look at what the Bible tells us about being “honest.” And tomorrow, we will consider what it means to be “upright.”
Several days ago, my husband made this comment, “Don’t you wish you knew that everything people told you was really true?” I thought about his statement as I wondered to myself, “How much of what we are told is really true and how much is false?”
It’s an interesting question when you stop to consider the huge influx of information we are bombarded with every day. Not long ago, in a celebrity interview, a well-recognized “star” noted that long ago she had stopped reading what was written about her because so much of it was untrue.
Sadly, it’s not just public figures who are subject to falsehoods. Edward Benson wrote that it is, “Desperately difficult to be honest with oneself.” As someone pointed out, the most difficult risk we are likely to take in our lives is when we are honest with ourselves. This includes not only emotionally, but spiritually. How easy it becomes to put on the mask of false piety, only to be crumbling underneath.
Pastor Charles Swindoll relates the following story:
“A man wrote a moving account of his attempt to get a group of fourteen men and women in the church to communicate with one another at more than a superficial level. As he surveyed the group, he was dismayed that many of the people had been attending the same church for years without knowing anyone else’s personal feelings about anything. No hurt was ever admitted.
In an effort to help the people learn how to communicate with each other at a deeper level, this man suggested that each person simply relate incidents from their past which had helped form their personalities. Much to his disappointment, every one of the fourteen seemed to be faking it by relating basically positive experiences and feelings. We really do that, don’t we?
Near the end of the session, as he was about to conclude the experiment had been a failure, one young woman poured out her feelings of insecurity, inferiority, and despair. She finished the confession by stating that all she wanted was what other people in the group already had.
Then the man made this closing comment. ‘We sat there stunned by the reality which had drawn us irresistibly toward this thin, totally unprotected young woman. And I realized that it was we who needed what she had: the ability to be open, personal, and honest in a vulnerable way. As I looked around the group, I knew that somehow because this theologically unsophisticated, honest woman had turned loose her silence and her pride and had reached out in total honesty that it was safe for us to start becoming one with Jesus Christ.’” You may be able to relate to this story for I know I can as in times past I’ve found myself sitting on a mask that hides the truth of who I am.
I love these words penned by the poet Robert Browning, “I thirst for truth, but shall not reach it till I reach the Source.”
Thankfully, when Jesus came to earth, His life became the light that directed us to the pathway of truth. When His disciple Thomas asked, “How can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, the life” (John 14: 5, 6). In the original Greek and Hebrew, this phrase is translated in this way: “I am the route, the road. I am the path you take on your journey. I am the established surety. I am faithful and stable. I am sure and certain. You can count on me as your solid foundation. I am yours for life – a lifetime!”
Isn’t that beautiful?
When we go to Jesus – the Source – we can be certain of truth. And the closer to Jesus we become, the more our lives will reflect truth and honesty.
Today, may your path be illuminated by the Man, Jesus, who is our only way…our only hope for truth…and our foundation for life.
“Truth is the only safe ground to stand on.”
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
The Woman’s Bible (1895)
“Marvelous Truth, confront us at every turn.”
“God help us to find our confession,
The truth within us which is hidden from our mind,
The beauty or the ugliness we see elsewhere but never in ourselves;
The stowaway which has been smuggled
Into the dark side of the heart,
Which puts the heart off balance and causes it pain,
Which wearies and confuses us,
Which tips us in false directions and inclines us to destruction,
The load which is not carried squarely
Because it is carried in ignorance
God help us to find our confession.
Help us across the boundary of our understanding,
Lead us into the darkness that we may find what lies concealed.
That we may confess it toward the light,
That we carry Your truth in the center of our heart;
That we may carry our cross wisely
And bring harmony into our life and our world.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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