Honesty

 

 

 

 

Sometimes Songs Reflect Truth

 

Let me read to you some of the words to a song called Honesty..

“If you search for tenderness, it isn’t hard to find.  You can have the love you need, to live.”

“But if you look for truthfulness, you might just as well be blind.  It always seems to be, so hard to give.”

“Honesty, is such a lonely word, everyone is so, untrue.  Honesty, is hardly ever heard, but mostly what I need from you.”  

 

Why is truthfulness and honesty such a rare commodity?   Is there something about the truth that we don’t like?  Or is there something about it that makes us uncomfortable?

How about this question;  Does complete honesty somehow infringe upon our freedom to do the things we want to do?

Or this question;  Does complete honesty somehow limit how much we can gain, or profit from life?

But of course Jesus asks us this question;  “What shall it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”  “Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”    (Mark 8:36 & 37)

 

We all seem to want honesty from others, but at the same time, it seems like we’re not always willing to give honesty in return.  At least not 100% of the time.   Why do you think that is?   Why do you think it’s so difficult, for most people, to be 100% honest?

There’s another word, that seems like it just naturally goes together with the word honesty.  And that word is “simple”.  “Simple honesty”.   It takes planning to be dishonest, but honesty, that’s just simple, isn’t it?

 

I’d like us to go to the bible, and see how God “presents” honesty.  Then we can see for ourselves, how our opinions about honesty, compare with God’s opinion.  Do our feelings about honesty, fall right in line with what the bible says?  Or do our feelings need to be adjusted?

 

Let me begin by reading from  John chapter 8, verses 42 thru 44.   Jesus is speaking here, to some Jews, who were not liking what He had been saying.  And so he says, beginning in  verse 42;   “If God were your Father, you would love Me.  For I proceeded forth, and have come, from God.  For I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.  Why do you not understand what I am saying?  It is because you cannot hear My word.  YOU are of your father the devil, and YOU want to do the desires of your father.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him!  Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar, and the father of lies.”  

The devil, is the “father of lies”.  To be the “father of lies” obviously means that all lies are “begotten” from the devil.  Just like Jesus was “begotten” from God.  That’s what Jesus had just said;  “For I have proceeded forth, and have come from God.”   John 1, verse 14  says;  “..The only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”   So then, in the same way, all lies proceed forth, and have come from, Satan, because he IS the “father of lies”.

Honesty, originates from God.  And I’ll prove that from the scriptures, in this lesson.  But dishonesty, originates from Satan.  From the spirit of disobedience, to God, the adversary of God.

 

You remember the story of Ananias and Sapphira, in  Acts chapter 5.  They had lied, right?  They were dishonest.  Well, listen to what Peter had said to Ananias, in  verse 3;  “Why has Satan filled your heart, to lie, to the Holy Spirit?”  Well, the answer to that question is, that Ananias had ALLOWED Satan to fill his heart.  Ananais was “filled” with both pride and covetousness.  His pride caused him to desire the notoriety, of being someone who sacrificed all the money he had received from the sale of a piece of property, and given it to the church.  He wanted to be looked up to.  That was the spirit of Satan working within him.

But then Ananias also suffered from covetousness.  He couldn’t bring himself to really give up, ALL the money he had gotten from selling his property.  He just had to keep some of it for himself.  And so that covetousness, also came from the spirit of Satan working within him.  And so with this spirit of Satan, “working” in Ananias, what was the result?  A lie was “born”.  And Satan was the “father” of that lie.

Now think about this if you would.  We saw how the dishonesty of Ananias, was “born” out of the spirit of pride and covetousness, that was inside him.   So could we not look at the lie, and say that, that dishonesty is the evidence, of a deeper, spiritual problem?   Dishonesty was the RESULT of his pride and his covetousness.  Therefore, isn’t the dishonesty, the evidence, that these spiritual problems existed?

I’d say there’s no other possible conclusion!

If Satan is the “father of lies”, which he is, then isn’t Satan also the “father of dishonesty”?   I would say again, there’s no other possible conclusion!

 

Now, you don’t have to tell a specific lie, to be dishonest, do you?  Dishonest behavior would equate to the same thing as lying.  So let’s look at example of dishonest behavior.

Think about Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed Jesus.  We’re told in  John 13, verse 2;  “And during supper, (this was during the Passover supper) the devil, having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him..”

Here we have the spirit of Satan in someone’s heart again.  That’s where it all starts.  With that “spirit” in your heart.

Now listen to  Luke 22, verses 1 thru 6;  “Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching.  And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death (to put Jesus to death) for they were afraid of the people.”  (So they weren’t doing this “openly”)  “And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve.  And he went away, and discussed with the chief priests and officers, how he might betray Him to them.  And they were glad, and agreed to give him money.  And he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity, to betray Him to them, apart from the multitude.”

So Judas “went away” from the rest of the disciples, and arranged a plan of deception.  And then the scripture says, he began seeking an opportunity, “apart from the multitude”.   When you’re planning something dishonest, you don’t do it in front of everyone, do you?  You do it “away from the others”.

So here’s Judas, and Satan has entered his heart.  And just like Ananias, Judas allowed Satan to be there.  And remember, when we’re talking about Satan, we’re talking a spirit.  We’re talking about the spirit of disobedience to God.  When Satan enters someone’s heart, it’s because that person ahs allowed that spirit to enter their heart, and to stay there, and to dwell there.

And what was the result of that spirit living in Judas’ heart?  Dishonesty was the result.  What was the spiritual problem that Judas had, that allowed this spirit to live in him?  For one thing, we know that Judas was greedy.  Judas wanted the money that the Jews had promised to pay him, for betraying Jesus.

Another spiritual problem Judas had, was that he was a thief.  Remember the time that Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with costly perfume?  This was the Mary who was the sister to Martha and Lazarus.

Let me read to you from  John 12, verses 1 thru 6;  “Jesus therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.  So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving, but Lazarus was one of those reclining with Him.  Mary therefore, took a pound of very costly perfume, of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair, and the whole house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.  But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said;  Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii, and given to the poor?  Now he said this, NOT because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief!  And As he had the money bag, he used to pilfer what was put into it.”  

So Judas had more than one spiritual problem with his heart.  But the fact that he had these spiritual problems, is why he allowed the spirit of Satan to dwell inside him.  And what was ‘born” out of Satan’s presence in Judas’s heart, was dishonesty.   But again, dishonesty, as well as lies, are only the result, of a bigger spiritual problem.  The dishonesty, or the lie, is the evidence of the WRONG spirit being in your heart.

 

I hear a lot of people say that they want to hear a bible lesson that they can really apply to their everyday life.  You know, something they can connect to.  So why don’t we ask ourselves this question..

Have I ever lied?  Have I ever been dishonest?  And if I have, what was my bigger spiritual problem.  Or we might have to ask ourselves, what IS my bigger spiritual problem.  If we currently have a problem with being completely honest, what IS our spiritual problem?  If we find it difficult to be 100% honest, it’s because we’re allowing Satan to live in our heart.  But WHY are we allowing it?

 

While you ponder those thoughts, I want to share with you, how God presents “honesty”, in the bible.   Honesty, is inseparable from God.

Here’s something that I didn’t know, until I studied for this lesson.  In the bible, the word “honesty”, has to do with reverence, and veneration.  Did you know that?   I didn’t, until recently.

Honesty, has to do with reverence and veneration.  Who do we give reverence to?  And who is worthy of veneration?  Obviously, the answer is, God.  GOD is to be reverenced, and venerated.

It says in  Psalm 111, verse 9;  “He sent redemption unto His people, He has commanded His covenant forever.  Holy and reverend, is His name!”   “Honesty” really is something that God Himself has “sanctified”.  To sanctify something, is to make it pure, and to set it apart.  Just like a Christian is “sanctified”.

Hebrews 10, verse 14  says;  “For by one offering, He has perfected forever, those who are being sanctified.”   In other words, by the sacrifice of Christ, we have our sins washed away.  That’s how we’re made pure, and at the same time, are added to His church;  That’s how we’re set apart.   We’re taken out of the world, and we’re sanctified in His kingdom.  We’re purified and set apart from the world.

Well, “honesty”, and “truth”, is something that God has declared, to be pure.  And honesty has been set apart by God, as something to be reverenced, and venerated.  Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, gives us some biblical synonyms, for this “virtue” that we call “honesty”.

Listen to these words;  “Dignity, gravity, majesty, sanctity, honor, and purity”.   These are attributes of GOD, are they not?  It’s no wonder that we should reverence and venerate this thing we call “honesty”.

 

Let me give you a scripture that uses the word “honesty”..

1 Timothy 2, verses 1 & 2;  “First of all, I urge that entreaties, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of ALL men.  For kings, and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life, in all godliness and honesty.”   In some other versions, that word is translated, “dignity”.  And sometimes “gravity”. 

We could paraphrase that verse, without changing the meaning, even one little bit.  We could make the last part of that verse to read like this;  “..In order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life, in all godliness, with reverence and veneration for truth”   That’s what “honesty” is, in the bible.  It is reverence and it is veneration, for the truth.

And what is truth?  It’s put very simply, in  John 17, verse 17;  “..Thy word is truth!”   Those are the words of Jesus, speaking to His Father..  “Thy word is truth”.   And how can you separate “word of truth”, from God Himself?   You can’t!

Remember when Jesus promised His disciples, that the Holy Spirit would come to them?  Jesus said;  “He will guide you into ALL truth.”    (John 16, verse 13)

That’s why Jesus calls the Holy Spirit, “the Spirit of Truth”,  in that same verse.   The Spirit of God, IS truth!   God is truth.  His word is truth.  Jesus Christ is truth.

“I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life”,  Jesus said.  “No man cometh to the Father but by Me!”    (John 14:6)

 

We’ve all heard the saying;  “Honesty is the best policy”.   But honesty isn’t just a policy, it’s a way of life.  Just like Christianity is a way of life.  Christianity isn’t just a good idea, it’s the only way to be saved!  And I’d have to say that, according to the bible, honesty is in the same category.

1 Timothy 2, verse 2  said;  “..That we may lead a tranquil and quiet life, in all GODLINESS, and HONESTY”, or “reverence.”   Honesty is what our whole life has to be based on.

1 Timothy 3, verse 4  says that an elder must;  “..manage his own household well, keeping his children in subjection, with all REVERENCE.”   Same word as “honesty”.

Listen to  Titus 2, verses 7 & 8;  “In ALL things, show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity (or uncorruptness) of doctrine, in dignity (or “honesty”, again, same word) and sound in speech, which is beyond approach..” 

 

Honesty is a whole lot more than just, not telling a lie.  Even though the scriptures tell us that “..All liars will have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone..”   (Revelation 21, verse 8)

And honesty isn’t only the “best” policy.  It’s the ONLY policy, if you want to be saved.  Honesty is the reverence and the veneration of God, and of HIS word, which is TRUTH!

 

If you reverence God’s word, in other words if you respect His word, and fear His word, then you’ll obey His word.

When Jesus was explaining the meaning, of the parable of the sower, in  Luke chapter 8,  He said in  verse 15;  “And the seed in the good soil, these are the ones, who have heard the word, in an HONEST and good heart (that’s a heart that’s good by nature, and hasn’t been corrupted by the world)..

So, “..These are the ones, who have heard the word, in an honest and good heart, and HOLD IT FAST (that means they OBEY it)  and bear fruit with perseverance.”  

 

If you hear the word, in an honest heart, a heart that loves God, then you will not only believe that word, but you will also obey that word..

You’ll repent of your sins, like we’re told to do, in  Luke 13, verse 3.  And you’ll confess your faith in Christ, like we’re told to do in  Mathew 10, verse 32.  And you’ll be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins, just like we’re told to do, in  Acts 2, verse 38. 

And we all have sins.  So we all need to be forgiven.  And if you’ve never been immersed in water, to simulate a burial, then you haven’t been forgiven of your sins yet.  There simply is, NO other way to be forgiven of your sins, except to be buried in water for that very purpose, where your sins are washed away.   (Acts 22:16)

 

 

 

 

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This article has 4 Comments

  1. “You must be without blame in the sight of the Lord your God”(Deut18:13).
    Lord willing,I will be translating it and circulate this and other articles by you for the Christians in India,please pray.
    GOD be with you,amen.

    1. Thank God for Jesus Christ, who can make us “blameless”. We’re lost without Christ. And thank God for Christians like you who spread the word. We wish you Godspeed Adam!

  2. Honesty is the only best policy for the Christians to be saved.
    it’s the way of Christ,we are here to follow our Lord.
    Thank you so much for this article,it’s (honesty)God’s character,
    Thank you brother

    1. Thank you Adam my brother. I love hearing from you. I’m glad that you found the article on honesty to be encouraging. Thank you for your comments. Honesty is absolutely a part of godliness. I’m so glad that you agree. Please pass along these articles to everyone you can. I hope it might help someone. May God bless you and your family. Sincerely, in Christ, Jim

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