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So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. Ephesians 4:25 (NLT)

The foundation of any relationship is honesty. Like any building, if the foundation isn’t built on solid ground, the entire building will crumble regardless of the skills of the architect and the builder. In the same way, relationships built on passion alone, or money or ‘having things in common’ are only as strong as the amount of honesty between the parties in the relationship.

‘Thou shalt not lie’ is much more than one of the Ten Commandments. It’s foundational to our social, political and spiritual well being. Even so, it’s dishonesty that comes naturally to us and destroys even the best of relationships.

Lies. They come in all sizes shapes and colors. We consider ‘little white lies’ as being  harmless. We see lies about our sexuality, bank account size, income and religious or political beliefs as being major or even immoral.

So where does true honesty start? True honesty begins in the heart of each of us. Until we are honest with ourselves we can never hope to be honest with others. In their book “Telling Yourself the Truth” William Backus and Marie Chapain tell us ‘most of what happens in your life happens because of the way you think.’ The way you think of yourself is the foundation of how you think of others.

A 2007 study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that the number of suicides in the USA was double the number of homicides! It’s safe to say that a majority of those taking their own lives believed lies about themselves. Lies they conjured up in their own minds or lies others have said about them.

So what is the truth about you? The truth is you are created in the image of God. You are his special creation. Nothing you have done will ever change that. Nothing anyone says about you will ever change that. You are God’s chosen possession. His masterpiece.

Secondly, no matter what your past is like, Jesus Christ came to forgive you of your sin and make you a new creation. A new person inside and out. It’s time to stop listening to the lies you are telling yourself or others are saying about you. It’s time to listen to what God says about you in His Word, the Holy Bible. Religion won’t tell you the truth. Social movements and political parties will lie. Only God will tell you who you really are.

PRAYER: Hey God, I’ve been listening to what people say about me and I’m starting to believe all the awful things they say about me. I’ve been dishonest with myself, with you and with others. Empower me by your spirit to be honest with myself first and then with others. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. Luke 16:10

Jesus tells the story of a man who was caught cheating by his employer. As a result of the dishonesty the man was informed that he would lose his job. Before he was fired he went to all the people that owed his boss money and gave them huge discounts. While this further cheated his boss, it made the man many friends. We aren’t told in the story, but no doubt these people were willing to help the dishonest person because he helped them.

The lesson from this story is that honesty isn’t dependent on the amount entrusted but on the sense of responsibility a person has to those who trust him. The man in the story may have been considered generous by those he gave discounts to, but in reality, he wasn’t concerned in the least about their well-being. He was really only concerned about himself.

Our view of ourselves has a huge part to play on whether we are honest or dishonest. Many times we will lie to cover up our own mistakes, choosing to blame others instead of accepting the responsibility. Other times we may lie to make ourselves look better. We don’t want to admit we are weak, so we lie to make ourselves look better than someone else.

Dishonesty at any level destroys our entire reputation. If I lie about a little thing, then I most likely will lie about bigger things as well. On small amount of dirt in a clear glass of water taints the whole glass and makes it undrinkable. In the same way one little lie, on little act of deception tarnishes our entire character.

As Christ-followers each of us is responsible for making sure we are men and women of integrity and trust. There is no place in our lives for any action that has it’s basis on avoiding responsibility for our actions or making others look bad for our own benefit.

Grace teaches us that we are, in some senses, completely helpless to live a life of purity and perfection. There will be times when we fail in our attempt to be honest. There may be times when our actions are misunderstood as being malicious when they are not. Those are the times we can come to our Savior, Jesus Christ, for forgiveness, and strength to continue on.

Start with the small things. As you learn to trust Him for strength in the small areas of your weakness you will find it easier to tackle the larger areas where you tend to be dishonest. Jesus didn’t come to condemn liars. He came to empower them to be honest.

PRAYER: Father you know that I tend to be dishonest in some of the things I say. I ask that you would forgive me for those times. Empower me by your Spirit to be willing to accept responsibility for my actions. Enable me to be a person of integrity for your sake. Amen.

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April 2023
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