Do You Tell Yourself The Truth

Do You Tell Yourself The Truth?

“Truth fears no questions.” That is our slogan this month as we emphasize the personal Christian characteristic of honesty. There is no more difficult application of honesty than the need to be honest with ourselves. Dishonesty with ourselves will doom us. Consider the scoffers who rejected the possibility of Jesus’ return because they were “willingly ignorant” (2 Pet. 3:3-5). And how about the man who deceives himself in regard to sin (1 Jn. 1:6, 8). And then there are those with darkened understanding because of the blindness (hardness) of their heart (Eph. 4:17-19).

Brothers and sisters, if we are going to build the characteristic of honesty, there are three questions we must continuously ask ourselves.

  •  What do you need to change? Do you have any character flaws, any persistent sin or sinful attitudes, We are striving to be like Christ (1 Pet. 2:21-23). Like Paul, it is safe to say, with him, that we have not arrived (Phil. 4:12). So the first order of honesty is not, “Do we need to change?,” but “What do we need to change?” Are you quick to anger (James 1:19)? Are you harsh in your approach (2 Tim. 2:24)? Is your tongue too loose (Eph. 4:29)? Are you timid about sharing the truth (2 Tim. 1:6-8)? Are you a grudge holder (Eph. 4:32)? Do you miss worship at the slightest inconvenience (Matt 6:33)? Are you unwilling to add the ‘Christian graces” to you life (2 Pet. 1:5-10)? Be honest with yourself about yourself. What do you need to change?
  •  Are you willing to change? Some people have acknowledged that they have a quick temper for 40 years, or that they are always gossiping, or that they need to control their eating, or that they always speed. Yet, they have no plans to change these difficult habits. Do you have flaws in your character or actions that you admit you need to change? Are you willing to make the change? The Hebrew writer and those with him were “willing to live honestly is all things” (Heb. 13:18). The Macedonians were first “willing of themselves” (2 Cor. 8:3). Are you willing to change those things Christ wants you to change or would you rather stay like you are?
  • Are you in the process of changing? Many of us tell ourselves we are willing to change our character, attitudes and actions. Are we telling ourselves the truth? What are your plans for changing? That is, how will you bring forth fruits showing repentance (Matt. 3:8)? Have you identified your way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13)? If we are always planning, but not doing, then we are not growing more Christ-like. Truth fears no questions? Are these three a help to you?

Truth Fears No Questions

“Truth fears no questions”

One of the interesting passages that has broad application to many things in James 1:19. I particularly want to focus on the phrase, “be slow to speak.” Human beings, for various motivations have a tendency to lie. Surely it is not true, as some psychiatrists have said, that everyone lies at least three times a day in word or act. I am convinced that many outside of Christ give very little thought to the untruthful statements they make. I am equally convinced that Christians and others tell lies because they speak so quickly and without sufficient thought. If we were slow to speak, our speech may be more honest. Most of us have a drive within us to: please people; be approved; avoid conflict; garner praise; support friends or family; gain position, wealth or influence. These drives (not wrong within themselves) often cause us to speak quickly: That looks nice; I didn’t do it. It was my idea; I don’t believe he did it; I agree. On and on the list could go of the types of statements we sometimes offer without sufficient thought about their veracity. In his excellent book, Allen Webster includes a list of possible ways we may lie or be involved in a lie. Consider this list and let’s plan to avoid all lies altogether.

Twisting words Twisting truth Shading the truth Half truths
Mistating facts Crafty questions Body language Slandering
Gossiping Prejudging Exaggerating Presumption
Insinuation Innuendo Surmising Silence
Flattering Quoting another Improper inference Assigning motive