Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly. —Hebrews 13:18
The prayer request of the apostle Paul was that they would have a clear conscience and in everything to live honestly. May the Lord impress upon all people who have a desire to serve Him the importance of practical, daily honesty. We have been called to live a life of holiness without deceit.
The subject this quarter is on the topic of honesty. While basic, it is needful. It is the unfortunate reality that there are too many people who call themselves Christians that cheat, steal, lie, and deceive. Dishonesty is prevalent in the news, in the political system, in sports, in business, etc., and it is this corruption that has torn the social fabric of many societies. While it is expected in a sinful world, it should never be among God’s people. Honesty in “all things” is fundamental to being a follower of Jesus Christ.
It is amazing how people can try to justify or make allowance for deceit and dishonesty when it serves their purpose—from words spoken to children, to business dealings, to conversations in marriage, to children with their parents, to people filling out their taxes. One lie is all it takes to miss Heaven. It does not take habitual lying, it takes one lie. It is much better to acknowledge a fault, shortcoming, or lack of wisdom, than to tell a lie in order to escape responsibility. Indeed, most of us have made a commitment and forgotten about it. While that is not a lie, as it was unintentional, we need to be careful with our words. When a child of God tells you they will do something at a specific time, you should expect it to be so. Too many Christians are getting casual and irresponsible with their words, and it is not a good testimony to the world.
It is a blessing to live a life of honesty. While we make mistakes, fall short of human perfection, and forget things sometimes, there is great peace in living an honest life. May each reader be challenged to continue to live a life of honesty and integrity.
Michael W. Smith