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To Tell the Truth

We live in an age where we’re told that truth is relative. It’s not the same for everyone. When this is the norm, lies are a regular part of our society.

Think about the internet. Anyone can say whatever they want – about any subject they like. It can be true or untrue with seemingly no consequences.

“Of course it’s true; I read it on the internet.”

I’ve heard people say that; and maybe you have too. We laugh and roll our eyes, because we know that if it’s on the internet, you have to check it out from more than one source.

That makes for a very skeptical society. It makes me wonder how we, as believers, need to handle the truth. James had something to say about it almost 2000 years ago.

Above all, my brothers, do not swear — not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.
James 5:12

It seems that every day we have to sift through lies and half-truths. It’s like the call I get regularly to inform me that my name was selected to receive a free vacation. Even though I know that I didn’t enter any drawing. The good news is that it would have only cost me $600 to claim my “free” vacation. Lucky me!

Even the media is falling into this type of hype. The accusations of “fake news” seem to be a regular occurrence. Personally, I like watching the weather reports. People laugh at me because I’ll keep one of the weather networks on in the background sometimes.

You would think that weather reporting is above this type of accusation. Not anymore. Throughout the evening, the teaser for the nightly news is, “Can we be expecting another big blizzard?” So I watch the news only to find out that the answer is, “No, the storm’s going out to sea.”

Why am I saying all of this? Am I just some old guy complaining about society? Absolutely not! It’s a warning to us that we can’t let these types of lies, half-truths, and hype be a part of our walk with God.

When we speak, it needs to be the truth. So much so, that we don’t feel the need to convince others to trust us. God’s people should have a reputation of speaking the truth.

Jesus said the same thing to His followers.

“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”
Matthew 5:33-37

The enemy has to go to great lengths to convince people to believe a lie. When we do the same with the truth, it makes people question whether they should believe us or not.

Don’t make the truth you’re speaking sound like a lie. Testify for Christ honestly, and with integrity. Then allow the Holy Spirit to do the convincing and convicting. I’ve found that this is the best way to present the truth.

Question: How have you seen people present the truth in a form that sounds untrue?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

 

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Integrity

Psalm 41:12
In my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever.

Here is a concept all but lost in this society.  We have no understanding of true integrity.  It is not an acting role we can put on in front of people.  Integrity can only be seen when the crowds are gone.

For instance, if I were at home, I would never think about throwing a piece of trash on my front lawn.  After all, what would the neighbors think.  But when I am all alone hiking in the woods, miles from the nearest road, it is so easy to just drop that candy bar wrapper on the ground.

Integrity is not how good you appear in front of people.  It is maintaining your same level of discipline even when there is no one else around.  It is the ability to live your life knowing that God sees all.  He is our constant companion.

Upholding integrity and acknowledging the presence of God are two things that must go hand in hand.  It is in these private places that we can cultivate both of these qualities.  When we are alone, with no one else around, we must learn to sense the Lord’s Spirit with us.  This makes it easier to live for Him when no one is looking.

Spend some quality time with Christ today.  Make an effort to acknowledge His presence with you throughout the day.  Instead of asking, “What would Jesus do?”, ask, “What would I do if I saw Jesus walking beside me?”

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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