Wednesday, September 3, 2008

WEDNESDAY'S WEEKLY WORD..."Lie, Cheat and Steal"

IF YOU HAVE BEEN LOOKING for the WEEKLY DEVOTION - I have moved it from Sunday to Wednesday. I hope that you will plan to come back each Wednesday as we delve into God's Word together. It is my prayer that this midweek devotion will encourage you and propel you to open your heart and your spirit to receive something from God today!

"HONESTY...such a lonely word"

Billy Joel, a singer and song writer, caused us to reflect on those words a few years back. I read recently in a book something about a Greek philosopher...He would go out at night carrying a lamp, looking for something. People would ask him what he was looking for. With a straight face, this philosopher would reply, " an honest man!"

Honesty is something that we all demand, but few of us give it completely. Dishonesty is rampant; but few are untouched by it. From little white lies to cheating on tax returns to lying in order to stay out of trouble. Some people do it - again and again and again!

Dishonesty is nothing new to our culture. You can read throughout the Old Testament in the Bible and see how religious people had figured out many clever ways to make oaths that they knew they would not have to honor. Jesus response to this kind of dishonesty was, "Let your word 'yes' be 'yes' and your 'no' be 'no'. Anything more than this is from the evil one" (found in Matthew 5:37).

Jesus was saying that our character ought to be so associated with honesty that we will not be doubted when we say we will do something. Oaths and swearing become unnecessary for a person of that kind of character and reputation.

Dishonesty DOES NOT escape our Christian culture

People frequently say, "Will you pray with us about this situation?" and as we nod our heads in agreement, the dishonesty has already taken place. The one asking for prayer may not REALLY expect us to pray and as we nod our head in agreement, we don't REALLY plan to pray.

There are other common forms of dishonesty which include slander (repeating unproven gossip!), false joy (when we act religious when in reality - we are in extreme suffering and pain!) and cheating on your finances (we don't acknowledge Gods favor in our life, we cheat ourselves by putting ourselves first other than God and others with our finances!).

In last weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I addressed this issue with my readers. I polled the readers the following question, "What is your instinctive reaction to someone who lies to you?" The top 3 responses were:

1. 45% of those polled, said they would never trust that person again!

2. 31% voted and said that they would confront the person!

3. 13% of the readers said they would forgive them!

WOW! If that isn't an eye opener that even in the Christian culture, dishonesty is a HUGE barrier. Forgiveness is number 3?? Just let that sink in for a moment.



1. LYING ...One of the most obvious (and easiest) kind of dishonesty is lying. Lying is to break faith with the person to whom you are lying to.

PROV. 12:22 "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight."

Once trust has been broken with a person, doubts will always be there. You cannot turn back the clock of integrity. Integrity is very difficult to regain once it is lost!

2. another form of dishonesty. Stealing is a sin of selfishness.

PROV. 20: 17 " Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel."

A thief that thinks stealing will better their life often finds bitterness. You may escape the clutches of the law, but you cannot escape the fear, insecurity and guilt that will follow you. God sees all and knows all.

3. a form of stealing. It is "success by fraud".

PROV. 21:6 "Getting treasures by a lying tongue is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death."

A cheater makes more money by deceiving people and scores better on tests by deception. A cheater looks better than he or she really is but they always run the risk of being found out to be a fraud! Cheating has nothing to offer except emptiness!

4. SLANDERING...this type of dishonesty is not reserved for the courtroom only!

PROV. 14:25 "A true witness delivers souls, but a deceitful witness speaks lies."

Slandering is saying something about someone that is not true. If you do not know something to be true, but you repeat it are slandering! So in reality, when you repeat unproven gossip about someone - you are slandering.

CHEATING, lying, stealing and slandering can all be tools that help us get ahead or be successful in life, but, it is better to be poor and blameless. (Prov. 19:1) Peace of mind and peace with other people are more valuable than any big house or fancy lifestyle.

Paul sums it all up well - "according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death." (Phil 1:20)

Ask God to forgive you of your dishonesty, and let's work on moving FORGIVENESS up on that scale when others treat us with dishonesty. God is concerned with our character and integrity...are you?

I have been studying the book of Proverbs - Thank you for joining me today as we reflect on the character and integrity of our Christian walk. If you struggle with dishonesty in your life, will you join me in memorizing Prov. 11:20?


Please cast your vote in this week's poll that has to do with how you react when you are corrected by someone. You can find it on the side bar of this blog. YOUR OPINION MATTERS!

1 comment:

Cheri said...

Great devotion Laurie!

Your right in stating there is more than one way to lie.

I often get myself in trouble for being too honest. I have to remember there is always a happy medium. And total honesty can hurt regardless of how you state it.