There was once a time when a handshake was as sure as a legal contract and you could count on it. If one looks around at what is going on in this world today we may wonder, whatever happened to being honest and true to your word? Sadly most people’s word means absolutely nothing. Politicians bombard us with misrepresentation, false promises, self grandstanding, exaggerations, and most of all, just plain old lies. Advertisers and retailers falsify their wares with every conceivable falsehood known to man and with a straight face profess them to be the honest truth. Service people overcharge, manufacture defects, make shoddy repairs, and then disavow any responsibility. Lawyers prey on the common people with exorbitant charges and take little or no action. Professional people take advantage of the weakness and ignorance of people with meaningless actions that are quite often unnecessary. I recently heard of a service provider who said the reason they charged such ridiculously high prices, was because, “ they could.” I find this is often the reasoning of people in this day and age. There are many, many things we can do, but simply should not do, if we would remain honest to ourselves. Taxpayers evade their legal obligation by every means imaginable, simply because they can. Even those who supposedly spread the word of God, do so with unbelievable lies and hypocrisy. Of course there are exceptions to this in all categories, but dishonesty is so common in our society that it is accepted as a way of life and we are all tempted to participate in it. Many times we can rationalize the reasons for being dishonest in our own minds. We can easily deceive others while making ourselves appear honest and upright. But no person can honestly be unaware of his falseness to himself. If we are truly honest with ourselves, then we will deal honestly with all people. I guess what I am trying to say is “honesty with self always leads to honesty with others”. If we are honest with ourselves, then we are honest with God, and only he knows what is in our hearts. Even though we study the bible, do we receive the word with an honest and good heart (Luke 8:15)? I sometimes find that I am guilty of reading the word of God, not with a view of letting his word teach and change me, but to prove that I am right with what I believe and practice. We sometimes tend to skip over or at least not look too closely at scriptures that may condemn some wrong that is in our lives. Whatever our motives, in doing so, we are not being totally honest with ourselves. Being honest is not an easy thing to do sometimes. It may cost us friends, a good job, or money, but what a trivial matter compared to the loss of our eternal soul on judgment day.
By humility and fear of the Lord are riches, and honor, and life (Prov. 22:4)
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