Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Honesty Is Such a Lonely Word

I am working on amessage for Sunday PM on Matthew 5:33-37. In this passage Jesus is contrasting the TRUE teaching on honesty of speech with what the scribes and Pharisees were passing off as "honesty" in speech. Honesty goes deep. It is a matter of the heart. Just like murder and adultery, they are matters of the heart. The point is internal, not just external. The Pharisees said "hey, as long as you don't perjure yourself, after you've taken an oath, all OK." And obviously they had some leeway as to what you swore under as to whether it carried a lot of weight or not. Jesus says don't swear at all - all that we say is under God anyway. Let your yes be yes, and no, no. Be honest. It seems like such simple instruction, but it is in short supply. Does anyone teach their children honesty anymore? Perhaps so many parents live lies they cannot teach honesty. Children do not see it - at home, atschool, in elected leaders, in clergy, in sports stars. Man, Jesus' teaching is needed more than ever. We must realize that He calls us to live and walk in the light, as He is in the light. We recognize more than ever that we need His mercy and grace, the indwelling of His Spirit (and our surrender to Him) to live the life that is pleasing to Him. May we be honest witnesses for our Lord, and let it begin with me.


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