Tag Archive | William Shakespeare

Truth: Living Beyond Our Expectations

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We’ve all heard it said, from parents, grandparents, and probably countless episodes of The Waltons or Little House On The Prairie…

“A man’s word is his bond.”

There was a time, not too long ago, in which honesty was valued, commended, and expected. Here was some thoughts about honesty from some people more famous than I am…

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. ~ Thomas Jefferson

No legacy is so rich as honesty. ~ William Shakespeare

The high road is always respected.
Honesty and integrity are always rewarded. ~ Scott Hamilton

Fear1Dishonesty has been around since the Garden of Eden. Original sin was the result of dishonesty and deception, when the serpent enticed Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit. Since then, men have cajoled and connived their way through history. And while there was a time in the not-too-distant past when honesty was put up on a pedestal as the “golden standard” by which we should live, society began to take a much more cynical view of this virtue…

All men profess honesty as long as they can. To believe all men honest would be folly. To believe none so is something worse.~ John Quincy Adams

The most important thing in acting is honesty.
If you can fake that, you’ve got it made. ~ George Burns

In his song Honesty, singer/songwriter Billy Joel made this appeal…

But I don’t want some pretty face
To tell me pretty lies.
All I want is someone to believe.

Candidate XSomeone to believe. We all desire to be spoken the truth.Whether it is a doctor giving us a diagnosis, a politician making campaign promises, or a child explaining how the expensive vase ended up on the floor in a thousand pieces, we all want people to be straight with us. The fact is, however, that we have become accustomed to much less. In politics, lies and “back-room deals” have become expected, and we have grown too complacent to alter the modus operandi. On television, we see dishonesty given a pass — even glorified — as long as it serves some noble purpose, whether on a sitcom or the nightly news. As a pastor, I cannot tell you how many marriages and families I have seen torn apart because of dishonesty and deception.

So what does God’s Word have to say about honesty and truth?

In Psalms 15:1-2, the psalmist writes…

Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
    He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart…

In 1 John 5:20, we find that truth is a very attribute of who God is…

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

After David’s sin with Bathsheba, as he repented in Psalm 51, he says this in verse 6…

Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

In John 4:23-24, Jesus tells us what true worship looks like…

But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

Throughout Scripture, God puts a pretty high value on truth.

So why should we settle for less in our lives, homes, churches, communities, and government?

CoffeeI would contend that we are not too far gone. I would argue that we are not beyond expecting truth — regardless of how painful — from those around us. Getting back to a place of truth and honesty might be painful for a season, but once we you get there with God’s help, and make that your expectation,  you will be amazed at the freedom that accompanies truth. As the saying goes… “The truth will set you free!”

So friend, I encourage you… get back to the truth. Live it. Walk in it. Operate in it. Find the freedom that is yours in Christ through living a life as He did… in truth.

I leave you with a quote by the late Zig Ziglar…

Honesty and integrity are absolutely essential for success in life – all areas of life. The really good news is that anyone can develop both honesty and integrity.

The Power of Being

BPRecently, while on a trip to Great Britain, we visited iconic sites like Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Holyrood Palace, and St. Andrews.

Big Ben

Big Ben / Parliament


We also journeyed to Stratford Upon Avon, the home of the great poet and playwright William Shakespeare. Shakespeare once said, “To thine own self be true…” There is also an old Greek aphorism which, when translated, means “Know thyself.”
Our existence is a miracle of creation. We are human beings. We have the gift of “being.” It is interesting that the name of God in Hebrew — Yahweh — is a “being verb” meaning “I am who I have always been, and I always will be who I am.”

The scripture says…

“… In Him we live and move and have our being…” ~ Acts 17:28

With my wife, Paulette, in front of Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Our being means we are more than unreasoning animals. We are made in the image of God, and though fallen, we are given our being back by the sacrifice of Christ!

So I must know who I am and understand my God-given talent, temperament and opportunity. My being can (and should) be filled with His Holy Spirit and His gifts. I can be more than I imagined.

Jesus said for us to deny ourselves for His sake…

“… If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” ~ Matthew 16:24

 

With my grandson, Ethan Logue, near Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

However, we can’t do that until we affirm ourselves. If you do not love yourself, you cannot love your neighbor. It’s time for we as believers to see ourselves the way God sees us. When we choose to deny self, we aren’t giving up anything. By setting aside the very thing that anchors us to death (our sinful nature) and taking up the cross, we are gaining infinitely more than we are leaving behind. The act of following Jesus is the ultimate act of being true to yourself… living the life for which you were always intended — the life for which you were created.

But it is also not just about the individual… individual churches have being as well, and churches must be true to who they are and what they are positioned, gifted, empowered, and called to do.

True human beings are all unique and special. Our churches are as well — each with its own unique calling.

 

Let’s be something great for God — together!

At Cardiff Castle, Wales