God's Exquisite Garden

HONESTY

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The word honesty means truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness. Another definition is freedom from deceit or fraud. A third definition of honesty is integrity.

Honesty can preserve society. Micah was unable to find anywhere in the land an upright person, found in Micah 7: 1-20. Today, an honest, upright person with integrity is hard to find. So many times society will rationalize sin. Often Christians will compromise Christian principles just so they can get things the way they want them. How easy it is when we convince ourselves that it's alright to do the things everyone else is doing. We may try to participate in it. Slowly, we might break down our barrier and go with the crowd. But, we know that God has the highest standards. People around us might not always want to live up to God's standards. Since God is truth, we are honest, and are to imitate Jesus.


Sadly, sin has affected leaders of all lands. Sin has had an effect on society. Our family life is preserved by honesty. The family has been ruined by dishonesty and deceit. The family is the core of our society. The honesty between family members will display to others the strength in that family. God's judgement is the only way to purify the people. The nation would be drawn back to God, and it would be restored from the inside out. Any honesty that is rejected is better than any dishonesty that is accepted.

To hear someone butter up someone else is disgusting. Flattery is a cover-up for someone's actual intentions, and it is phony. Anyone who proclaims God's truth has a big responsibility to be honest. We are to be honest in every situation in life. Can you say that your actions and speech are honest and straightforward? Would you say that you tell people what they want to hear so that you can get ahead or to get what you want?

The Bible verses that apply are I Thessalonians 2 :1 -20 and James : 5:12

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthyŚmeditate on these things. Phillipians 4:8 (NKJV)



Trust is bred by honesty. Those who have a reputation for lying or exaggerating many times can't get someone to believe them on their word alone. A Christian should never be like that. If you are always honest, others will believe you when you simply say yes or no.

Once a person avoids lies, half-truths, and any omissions of the truth, he/she becomes known as a trustworthy person. With God we can be honest. This is one of the great messages of the book of Psalms. Even though we need to repress our feelings, we should not try to hide our feelings from God.

We are loved and accepted by Him as we are. He made us so creatively that we are free to grow toward all that we hope to become. It is so freeing to realize God's love is unconditional. God is very concerned with each and every aspect of our lives. He is always inviting us to share all that we are with Him, in return He will share Himself with us.

The book of Psalms speaks directly to our lives. Its patterns of relationship can guide you and me in our prayer lives. Hebrew poetry is not designed as much to communicate information as it is designed to share the inner life and the feelings of its writers. This is a very important characteristic of the book of Psalms. It is very important to us, providing a dynamic aspect of divine revelation.

Throughout the Book of Psalms, we are able to see Scriptural men and women as real people. We read how they were gripped by the feelings that move us. This makes us able to sense a relationship with God that is serenely real and personal.

The Lord God always tells the truth, and He wants us to follow His example. When you tell the truth you are showing others that you realize that truth any day is better than a falsehood or lie. Speaking the truth is a sure way to build friendship and trust among others. Telling the truth is something that we should do without thinking. Also when you don't tell the truth, it is as a play where you need to remember each line.


Whenever you are tempted to speak dishonestly, remember that our Lord God hates a lying tongue, Proverbs 6:16-19. Think how you feel when you hear an untrue remark. If we practice telling the truth, it will be second nature to us to always tell the truth. This also is a reflection of your character. Do you want to leave an impression upon others that will cause them to think of you as a dishonest person? The adjective honestly has the conscientious meaning of what is fair, right, and honorable. In everything we do, we should do all things honestly.

Many times people get entangled in their lies. They forget exactly what they have said and in what order it was said. There is a phrase: "Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." How true that statement is!


There are many verses in the Bible which tell us to be honest or honorable. In Romans 12: 17 we read "Repay no man evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all " Diogenes carried a lantern as he walked around Greece, looking for an honest man. If he looked in your neighborhood, would he find what he was looking for?

Jesus in explaining the meaning of the sower and the seed said in Luke 8:15,"But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience."

We find in Exodus 20: 16 "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." Solomon wrote in Proverbs 12: 22 " Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, But those who deal truthfully are his delight."

II Corinthians 13:7, "Now I pray to God that you do no evil, not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is honorable, though we may seem disqualified."

In I Peter 2: 12 we are told "...having their conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation."


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The book of Proverbs tells us plainly that God despises all forms of dishonesty. God does not only hate dishonesty, but we are told that it works against us - others no longer trust us. We cannot enjoy our dishonest gains.

Other Bible passages that apply here are I Thessalonians 2 :1-20 and James 5:12. In Proverbs 24:28 we are told to not deceive with our lips and in Colossians 3:9 we read ,"Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds." In Psalm 34: 13 is found, "Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit."

Some examples of honesty found in the Bible are Samuel. David, Nehemiah, Paul and our Lord Jesus Christ. All things considered, honesty really is the best policy.

Honesty is the best policy - but not the cheapest....
If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

Mark Twain

No legacy is so rich as honesty.
William Shakespeare

Discussion and study questions:
(1) What are the benefits of honesty?
(2) Why should we strive to live our lives honestly?
(3) What does the Lord say about honesty?
(4) What is affected by dishonest behavior?
(5) What does this conduct do to our impression?
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Copyright 2007 Linda Lawrence

Lessons in this Series

About The Author

Print Version of All Lessons


Lesson 1
Attitude


Lesson 2
The Mind of Christ


Lesson 3
Imitate Christ


Lesson 4
Communication


Lesson 5
Taming the Tongue


Lesson 6
Our Legacy


Lesson 7
Compassion


Lesson 8
Confidence


Lesson 9
Courage


Lesson 10
Gossip


Lesson 11
Honesty


Lesson 12
Profanity


Lesson 13
Improper Language

. .

Lesson 14
Faith


Lesson 15
Encouragement


Lesson 16
Humility


Lesson 17
Assurance


Lesson 18
Perseverance


Lesson 19
Strength to
Endure Suffering


Lesson 20
Grieve Not
The Spirit


Lesson 21
Understanding


Lesson 22
Knowledge


Lesson 23
Wisdom


Lesson 24
Purity in Heart


Lesson 25
Trust


Lesson 26
Obedience

. .

Lesson 27
Happiness


Lesson 28
Contentment


Lesson 29
Optimism


Lesson 30
Inner Peace


Lesson 31
Self-Control


Lesson 32
Our Example


Lesson 33
Patience


Lesson 34
Concern


Lesson 35
Testing Of Our Faith


Lesson 36
Mercy


Lesson 37
Grace


Lesson 38
Problems Concerning
Failure


Lesson 39
Practical Results

. .

Lesson 40
Good Works


Lesson 41
Women Teachers
in Bible Times


Lesson 42
Women Teachers
Today


Lesson 43
Having
Good Friends


Lesson 44
Choosing a Husband


Lesson 45
Choosing a Wife


Lesson 46
The Exemplary Daughter
Part 1


Lesson 47
The Exemplary Daughter
Part 2


Lesson 48
The Ideal Mother
Part 1


Lesson 49
The Ideal Mother
Part 2


Lesson 50
The Home As God
Would Have It
Part 1


Lesson 51
The Home As God
Would Have It
Part 2


Lesson 52
Impurity,
. .

Lesson 53
Marriage As God
Would Have It
Part 1


Lesson 54
Marriage As God
Would Have It
Part 2


Lesson 55
The Virtuous Woman
Part 1


Lesson 56
The Virtuous Woman
Part 2


Lesson 57
The Virtuous Woman
Part 3


Lesson 58
Love


Lesson 59
Morality


Lesson 60
Pride & Haughtiness


Lesson 61
Kindness


Lesson 62
Respect


Lesson 63
Modesty


Lesson 64
Lying


Lesson 65
Lewdness

. .

Lesson 66
Incomprehensible
God


Lesson 67
Unsearchable
Riches


Lesson 68
Infinite God


Lesson 69
Holiness of God


Lesson 70
Righteousness
of God


Lesson 71
Attendance


Lesson 72
Omnipresence
of God


Lesson 73
Omniscience
of God

. .










349450: Love Your Neighbor Love Your Neighbor
By Norman L. Geisler & Ryan P. Snuffer / Good News & Crossway

Murder is wrong---but what about war or capital punishment? What bearing does God's Word have on 21st-century debates like stem cell research? Based on sound biblical and philosophical reasoning, this practical introduction to Christian ethics challenges you to approach several issues of morality with an open mind, critical thinking, and your Bible. 192 pages, softcover from Crossway Books.


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