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Seeking Wisdom, Day 11 – Honestly?

February 13, 2016

“The Lord despises dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight.” (Proverbs 11:1) My grandmother would surreptitiously watch the butcher’s hands. “It keeps him honest,” she said. Now, I don’t usually see the butchers who package my meats at the super market, but I trust their scales are accurate, and hands are not on them. We expect honesty in our dealings with people. When we find dishonesty we drop relationships…or do we?

Solomon continues, “Upright (and honest) citizens are good for a city, and make it prosper, but the talk of the wicked tears it apart.” He means the dishonest actions of people tear the fabric of living together, and that is true of any individual, city, or country. We can look at the poorest cities and countries to see the evil and corruption of its leaders. The ambition of treacherous leaders traps the righteous . Truth can be managed and distorted, and that is where corruption begins.

Mark Twain, American writer in the 19th century, said, “A lie told often enough and with conviction becomes the truth.” How chilling is that? Dishonesty implies a lack of respect for people and for God. Lies are deliberate distortions of truth, usually for a mean advantage. Because we are human sinners, we take advantage of truth by manipulating it to serve our purpose. It takes courage to tell the truth, and too many of us are innate cowards.

We can be made to participate in lies. Consider all the tyrants in history who used lies to perpetuate their power. In my lifetime I have known of the mistreatment of Jews, in Germany and elsewhere, propelled by lies and distortions of truth. Germany, abandoning their Christian heritage, saw Hitler, not as an egotistical aggressor, but as a fearless leader.

Honesty is threatened by omissions. Witnesses are urged to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The United States is seen by some by as perpetrators of misdeeds, an entire country to take the rap for a few individual miscreants and a few bad decisions. While we can acknowledge our failures, we can point with pride to our many accomplishments. Let’s tell the whole truth. Humans make mistakes. The greatness of America is based on the truth of God.

(Proverbs 11: 20) “The Lord detests people with crooked hearts, but he delights in those with integrity.” Honestly!

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