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Honesty: Harder but Better


“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have to the Lord.'” Matthew 5:33

 

If I’m going to be honest, honesty is hard!

My mother always described me as a great liar when I was a child.  In second grade, my mother warned my teacher that I could stretch the truth—I mean really, really stretch the truth!  A couple of weeks into the school year, my teacher asked my mother—with great concern—how my brother was doing after his motorcycle accident.  My mother just shook her head and replied, “I told you he was a good liar.

As as child, I lied to get attention, to stay out of trouble,  or just to make myself look important.  As an adult, the temptations to lie, driven by those same underlying motives, remain.  I have been tempted to keep sin from my wife for fear she would judge me.  In my business, I have been tempted to get a job done more quickly than I should just to make a better profit, or tempted to shift the blame to my employees when a customer had complaints. 

Without God’s Word  speaking regularly into my life, I drift back to that five-year-old who wanted to protect himself from negative consequences, or who wanted to impress others.

If we regularly fall to the temptation of dishonesty, we will lose the trust of others over time. No wonder Jesus takes on this fundamental topic in the Sermon on the Mount. He makes clear the importance of keeping promises and speaking the truth: First, honesty builds the trust that makes our human relationships strong; and second, honesty reflects God’s character. These are wonderful motivations for believers.

On many occasions, I have chosen to take the easier route in life, failing to be completely honest, or failing to give all of the facts. The result has been disappointment and even heartache.  Now, I want to be a man of His Word. I want to be a man in whom my wife and daughter can fully trust.  In my business, I want to produce the quality of work that instills trust and that builds up the reputation of Christ.

Looking back, I am so thankful for the Lord’s patience with me. And as I move forward, I am so thankful for the opportunity to continue to build relationships that are genuine, that reflect the truth of His Word, and that give me the opportunity to help others as I move through life the way God intends.

Telling the truth may not always be fun, but I have learned that following the Lord’s truth is always better than making up my own!

 

Written by Zach Martin

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