If your car starts once every three tries, is it reliable? If the postman lose your mail a few times a month, is he trustworthy? If you don’t go to work from time to time, are you a reliable employee?
If your refrigerator stops working for a day or two every now and then, do you say, “Oh well, it works most of the time.” If your water heater provides an icy cold shower every now and then, is it dependable? If you skipped a couple of electricity bill payments do you think your electric company would mind?
I wonder what would happen if we applied the same standards of loyalty and faithfulness in our Christian lives in relation to our family, or to our Great God?
For example, being unfaithful to our spouse once a month, missing church worship a third of the time, or not praying half of the year.
Isn’t it amazing that we expect loyalty and reliability, to the point of perfection from things and other people and yet we don’t demand it from ourselves?
What if God is not reliable? What if God breaks his promises from time to time. What happens?
A few years back two guys interviewed thousands of people, and they published their findings in a book called The Day America Told the Truth.
Of those surveyed, 91% said that they lie on a regular basis.
86% said they lie to their parents regularly,
75% said they lie to their friends,
69% said they lie to their spouses.
50% said they regularly called in to work sick when they weren’t
Here is bad news. Doug Sherman and William Hendricks, compared the ethics of Christian and non-Christian adults. They found that almost as many Christians steal from work as non-Christians. Almost as many Christians use company phones for personal long distance.
And they found that Christians are just as likely to falsify their income taxes, and give bribes to obtain a building permit, and ignore construction specs, and illegally copy computer programs, and steal time from work, and exaggerate their products, and selectively obey the law. That is really sad!
Let’s see what the scriptures say about living the truth.
“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).
When we lie and don’t keep our promises it destroys trust and trust is what healthy relationships are built upon.
If someone asks us, Why is dishonesty wrong? How do we respond? Do we say, “Well, because God says so?” That may be true but why would God say so? Well, God is God and His very being is founded in truth. Anything that is not of God or against His will lead to messy lives. Being truthful helps us grow in our relationship with Christ and with others. The Bible says that when we speak the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Jesus, who is the Head, that is Christ (Ephesians 4:15).
Satan, however, is the father of lies (John 8:44).
Being a follower of Christ means a commitment to truth. This world needs people who keep their word.
It is in the breaking of promises that has led to millions of relationship being destroyed. Marriages have been demolished because someone did not keep his or her word. Hey, husbands and wives, remember you said, “I do.” At the same time, it is in people not keeping their words that businesses have collapsed, accidents happened and wars being started.
Jesus faced the gut-wrenching choice of keeping a costly promise. With him, love prevails.
God had been promising for thousands of years to send His Son to save the world through His death and resurrection. But when the moment of truth came in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus (being fully God and also fully Human) felt the weight of keeping this promise. In fact, He asked His Father, “If there is any other way, please let this cup pass from me.”
The Good news is: Jesus lived the truth. He was true to His Being. His words and actions are one and the same. He kept His word to die in our place, to absorb all of our sins, so that we could live and be forgiven and be reconciled to the Father.
Being truthful is all part of WHO He is. Yes, the world needs people who keep their word. But what the world needs most is Jesus. It is only when we are in Him and He in us where truth will prevail.