3 June 2010 (Chamashee/Teruah)|
Day #80, 5934 AM
Honesty is Best
But Not All Honesty is Edifying
The story is told of a construction worker who walked into a fast-food restaurant and ordered two dinners to take away. When his number was called, he picked up the bag, paid the cashier, and left. When he arrived home, he discovered he had been given a bag containing the day's takings. Without hesitating, he immediately returned the bag just as the manager was telephining the police to report the loss. This customer was honest enough to return the money even though he would undoubtedly have got away with it had he decided to keep the cash.
Another story is told of a drunkard who had ruined her life and lost everything, and decided to relocate to another town to start over again. She made excellent progress, quit alcohol completely, made new friends and earned a place of honour and respect in her new community. Sadly, another snoopy woman overheard a telephone conversation she was having with a family member and learned of her background. Being the town's gossip, she immediarely spread the word around that the ex-drunk was of a baser sort and not worthy of the town's trust. Upon being rebuked by her Christian husband for her scandalous behaviour, she merely insisted: "I just told the truth. I was being honest."
Clearly there are two types of honesty and two types of truth. All of them rely on 'facts'. The first type of truth and honesty sets a person free whereas the other tears him down and destroys him. We must never confuse the two because one type of truth is founded in love and the other in malice.
The only truth and honesty that interests a believer is the kind that sets a soul free for joy and love. Yah'shua said:
The Saviour never said there was only one kind of truth - He only said that the Truth which He brought, which was established in the Torah or Teachings of Yahweh, our Heavenly Father, would set souls free - and specifically, free from sin.
"If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32, NKJV).
The gossipping woman's 'truth' set no one free. The ex-alcoholic turned back to alcohol because of the gossip's wickedness but thanks to the intervention of Christian souls, was persuaded to remain after they affirmed their love and acceptance of her.
Don't be deceived by the 'honest fact' peddlers. Those who love the Truth and Honesty that leads to happiness conform it to the Truth of the God's Word. They are like the construction worker who acted with integrity. There may be other 'truths' but sometimes these are best left unspoken.
Sadly, Christians and Messianics are not having the same kind of impact on the world that they once did. Could it be that many believers today are cheating, lying, 'fudging', manipulating and then rationalising their actions? Are they claiming to be 'honest' and 'truthful' like the gossip or are they following the example of the construction worker? Too often dishonesty is the order of the day - its an epidemic in government. Most governments are more criminal than your average citizen, but your average citizen is learning to imitate his betters. No wonder unbelievers aren't impressed!
More importantly, honesty and truth are what Yahweh demands and expects from us. The apostle Pater said that we are to have honourable conduct. Then he wrote:
Honesty is not only the best policy - it's Yahweh's policy!
"For this is the will of Elohim, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men -- as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of Elohim. Honour all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear Elohim. Honour the Sovereign" (1 Peter 2:15-17, NKJV).
"[Have] your conduct honourable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify Elohim in the day of visitation" (1 Peter 2:12, NKJV).
 Richard W. De Haan, The Best Policy (Our Daily Bread, RBC, Grand Rapids, Michigan: June-August 1998), July 17