November 26, 2012

Proverbs 10:9 The man of integrity walks securely,
but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.

I really like the way the Japanese translates this verse: “The walk of a person who walks completely straight is safe, but a person who bends his own path will be found out.” Deviousness and lying are not forced on us from outside; most people don’t have to be taught to lie. However, that’s not at all to say those are good things. There’s good reason “Your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23) is a famous quote, though most people have no idea it comes from Numbers. A person who is walking as straight as they can doesn’t have to worry about covering their tracks. Deception eventually brings its own pun­ishment. (That’s not to say that it’s wrong to plan a surprise birthday party, for example; we’re talking about deception for personal gain or to deliberately hurt others.) The thing of it is, we can’t fool God any­way, so the thought of “getting away with something” is a trick of the devil in the first place. “Honesty is the best policy” isn’t in the Bible as an aphorism, but the Bible certainly teaches it from beginning to end.

I don’t think I would be happy in a job like the CIA, where in a sense deception is a job requirement. I don’t like watching movies or TV shows where characters pretend to be something or someone they are not. I really like the plain, unvarnished truth. That of course has been influenced greatly by my father’s policy of absolute honesty, and I’m very grateful for that. It’s hard for me to imagine what life would be like if I were trying to hide some dark secret. That’s not to say that I don’t try to be diplomatic, because dumping “the whole truth” on people is sometimes far less than kind, but if pressed, I will not lie even there. As a pastor, I seek to instill this attitude in those under my care, but this is something that is caught more than taught. I feel I have done fairly well. Some who have been particularly uncomfortable with it have left this church, but they are few. As a teacher of the Truth, I must be true in all I say and do.

Father, thank You for Your faithfulness. I know full well that I could never be faithful myself, or even consistent, without Your Holy Spirit. Help me both walk in truth, and particularly Your Truth, myself, and lead others to do the same, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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