Chuck Foreman – Teaching Pastor
I’ve been thinking a lot about honesty lately. I’ve decided it takes both a lot of courage and a lot of humility to be honest. It takes courage to stand up and be honest about what you know is true, or about how you may have screwed up, rather than to protect yourself and your reputation by covering it up. And it takes an intentional humility to just be real—to resist the urge to be a self-promoter, to present yourself as better than you really are. And after profoundly contemplating the depths of these attributes of honesty, I am so glad that I’ve never, ever fearfully wimped out on the truth, or pridefully self-promoted!
If you’re thinking I have a problem with both honesty and humility, you’d be right. The fact is, most of us do. That’s why I think it’s so important for us to pay close attention to the story of Ananias & Sapphira in Acts 5. There’s something there that we don’t commonly think about. Peter made an astute observation about their dishonesty. He said to Ananias, “You have not lied to men but to God.” And later to Sapphira, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord?” As far as Peter was concerned (and we assume he was in touch with reality and with the Spirit of God), to lie at all is to lie to God. Now that’s a new angle on lying. When you think about it, how dumb is it to try to deceive God? I mean, if he’s God then he knows who you really are and what you’ve actually done anyway. What’s the point in evading the truth at all? It’s not the Way of Jesus—and it certainly isn’t going to win us God’s favor.
Check out these words of King David from Psalm 15:
Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?
He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman,
who despises a vile man, but honors those who fear the Lord,
who keeps his oath even when it hurts,
who lends his money without interest and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things will never be shaken.