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Doing Life Together

truth-166853_1920Turn on the news, look at a magazine, scan the Internet…do you believe you are getting truth? Some would say there is a crisis when it comes to truth. Even when we try to be truthful, it’s easy to embellish the truth. It happens so often, we don’t always recognize it.

The book of James calls us to radical truthfulness. “Above all, by brothers, do not swear–not by heaven or by earth or by anyone else. Let your ‘Yes’ be yes, and your ‘No’ be no, or you will be condemned.” Just think how radical our culture would be if people simply told the truth and followed this prescription in James.

This passage reminds me  of a Bible story that always scared me as a child. It’s the story of Ananias and Sapphira who were struck down by God because they lied about their giving to the church. I always thought, “Why did they die? After all, they did give to the church.” Acts 5:4 gives us the reason. Peter cries out to them before they die, “You have not lied to men, but to God.” The consequence, death seems harsh and not keeping with the concept of grace. It makes us cringe. But the couple’s obligation was to be honest. And these were formative days of the early church. Phony spiritualism can be contagious and sweep like a fire in a church. The witness of the early church was at stake. God was at work preserving his church and the message is that telling the truth is serious.

God wants us to speak the truth and represent who we really are as followers of Christ. If the church is going to grow, we have to be truthful and model honesty. Telling the truth is one way to evangelize! It is also how we represent Christ. It is how the church avoids the label of hypocrisy.

Jesus reminds us that out of the heart, the mouth speaks. And that we will be judged by every word we say. Great care and attention given to our words must be part of our walk with Christ. Thus, we are admonished to speak the truth in love.

Do you always speak truth? The story of Ananias and Sapphira is a chilling reminder that God will deal with our sin. Be thankful for grace, but also remember that one day, we will be judged. So let’s be the truthful representatives of Christ, the body of believers who can be counted on to tell the truth. Let our Yes be yes, and our No be no. Let those who interact with the modern church know that it is a place of truth.

 

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