Truth

 

Lies Have Speed Truth Has Endurance SpeedometerI have been lied too before. I have been cheated. I have been misled. It is frustrating to take someone at their word, only to find out it’s not true. Trust is destroyed by lies and deceit. I believe truth to be absolute. It is not simply relative to whatever situation I find myself in. I’m not going to say that I’ve never told a lie. I find comfort in telling the truth, even if it’s painful.

In “REALTOR world”, I work with people every day. I work with lenders, appraisers, roofers, pest control experts, plumbers, electricians, other agents and members of the public. There are many opportunities to leave out important facts that are part of the truth. I recently had a buyer that was “on the bubble” with getting a loan. The lender told me that is was going to be really close, whether or not they would get approved, because it was a complicated file. I told the lender that I appreciated his honesty. I often think back to the line in the movie: “A Few Good Men” when Jack Nicholson’s character proclaims from the witness stand “You can’t handle the truth!”

Jesus, at the end of His time on earth spent some time explaining His ministry to His disciples. He explains His purpose for coming and investing in their lives. There was obvious confusion on their part. He goes before the Father with an intense prayer for His followers. Check this out…

13 “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do.17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. (John 17:13-19 NLT)

In my journey with the Lord through His Word, I find truth revealed. I find the hope I have in eternal life. I find insight into suffering and struggle. I find peace that is beyond understanding and comprehension. I find that the purpose of my life is to bring glory to God. I’m thankful for this prayer of Jesus that reveals His love for His followers. I want to follow Him all my days, walking in truth and love that He has installed in my heart.  I believe that He is continually cleaning me up and making me whole in Him. I am certainly standing on the truth of His Word and His Promise.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Truth or Lie

 

Lies Have Speed Truth Has Endurance SpeedometerI have always had a tough time with people who blatantly lie. Truth is a fundamental fabric to character. Lies and deceit are direct assaults upon this fundamental fabric. People who lie are impossible to trust because they don’t have a standard that they cling to or depend upon. They will move people and situations to improve their life at the expense of whoever or whatever is in their way. It is my goal to build relationships upon truth. I don’t want to mislead or mistreat anyone. I also can’t be “best friends” with everyone I meet, but I can treat them with respect and honor as a child of God – human being. This is not to say that there aren’t consequences for lying. There are people in prison mainly because they lied. There are people who have been fired from very good and gainful employment because they lied. I’m thankful that the Lord continues to build into me. I have lied in the past and I’ve been forgiven. Lies cause me stress and inner struggle. I have confessed when I’ve lied and I’ve asked for forgiveness. I don’t lie frequently. The older I get the more futile I realize lying or deceit can be. Truth makes it way out of lies and deceit. Check this out…

I call on the Lord in my distress,
    and he answers me.
Save me, Lord,
    from lying lips
    and from deceitful tongues. (Psalm 120:1-2 NIV)

I am a man of truth. I have seen the counterfeit nature of a lie and I despise lying. Sometimes it’s hard to speak truth, but it’s better to be honest every single time than to lie. I do believe that the truth needs to be accompanied by grace and love. If the truth is all by itself, it can be excruciatingly painful. It doesn’t have to always be harsh or hateful. Truth needs to be soaked and dripping in love where applicable. Sometimes, truth is abstract and simple. Sometimes, truth involves relationships that are life-long and really challenging.  I would rather have someone tell me the truth 100% of the time than to lie at any level. I’m a grown up and I can handle the truth as hard as it may seem. If I’m given a lie, I will work with it like it’s true until proven otherwise. I so wish that there was a “truth serum” that we could all drink with our breakfast that would cause us to speak truth. I thought about the movie starring Jim Carrey called “Liar Liar” that was released in 1997.

I want to continue to walk in truth. I want to continually speak the truth. I want the words of my mouth to always be honest, honorable and truthful. I don’t want to mislead, mistreat or misuse the truth in any way.  I want my word to mean something every day. I want the Lord’s help in guarding my tongue and my choices today.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Mislead

 

3d roadsign of facts vs lies wordcloudI have experienced this first hand fairly recently. There are some people who when their lips start moving, they start lying. There are other people that you can absolutely count on what they are saying to you as truth. In studying leadership it’s very easy for a careless leader to mislead his or her followers. To mislead is “lead or guide into an error of conduct, thought or judgment”. There are some people who mislead inadvertently, but there are others who mislead deliberately. I really try hard to weigh the words being told to me by those who are my leaders. I’m thankful that I live in the USA where leaders can be held accountable for misleading.

When this young man named Manassah became king at young age, he started down the path of evil and never turned away. His actions in so many areas was despicable. Check this out…

9 But the people did not listen. Manasseh led them astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.

10 The Lord said through his servants the prophets: 11 “Manasseh king of Judah has committed these detestable sins. He has done more evil than the Amorites who preceded him and has led Judah into sin with his idols. (2 Kings 21:9-11 NIV)

The subject of leading is very near and dear to my heart. I tend to evaluate most everything in life through the lens of leadership. There are people in leadership who really didn’t choose the position. For some reason, our culture, gives a lot of leadership to celebrities and famous people. The actor’s job is to act or pretend to be something they are not and if they are excellent at it, we make them leaders in our culture.

There are also elected officials who promise to lead if elected. They actually promise to “lead a certain way” and it’s our role to hold them accountable when they break their promises.

There are other leaders who are appointed by someone else. If they’ve never led or been trained, they often become dictatorial in their leadership. I resent the type leader who thinks they are “smarter than everyone else in the room”. They make decisions for everyone else and make puppets of others.

I have a responsibility to think through things – evaluate people responsible for leading in my world. I should not blindly follow any leader. I should evaluate their life by their actions, their words and their character. I am responsible for being a leader. The people I lead need to do the same evaluation on me – check my actions, my words and my character.

I don’t ever want to mislead anyone at any time. I want to make it clear that I follow the Lord with my actions, my words and my character. I am, however, a flawed man – a sinner saved by the Grace of God. I’m grateful that He knows my flaws and loves me in spite of them. He leads me back to repentance. He leads me back to a place of healing and forgiveness. I’m thankful that the Lord has NEVER mislead me or anyone else.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Conspire

 

Conspiracy word cloudThis word implies secrecy and illegal activity and agreement between two or more people. I’m not sure that what I choose to do myself would be considered a conspiracy.

Samson had been wreaking havoc on the Philistines. He was supernaturally strong and they couldn’t stop him. When he falls in love with a Philistine woman named Delilah, they knew that had to try. Each leader offered her 13 Kilograms of silver in exchange for her delivering Samson to her. She starts right away to ask him the secret of his strength, so he tells her some tall tale about tying him up with seven fresh bowstrings. She actually tried it (with soldiers waiting secretly) and it didn’t work. She tries twice more and has two more false alarms. After pestering Samson day in and day out, he finally comes clean. Check this out…

17 So he told her everything. ‘No razor has ever been used on my head,’ he said, ‘because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.’

18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, ‘Come back once more; he has told me everything.’ So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. 19 After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him.

20 Then she called, ‘Samson, the Philistines are upon you!’

He awoke from his sleep and thought, ‘I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.’ But he did not know that the Lord had left him. (Judges 16:17-20 NIV)

I do believe that if Samson had been walking with the Lord, he’d had a heads up about this conspiracy. I see him living in his flesh instead of living out of a heart deeply devoted to the Lord. These people showed up with the money in hand. It’s obvious that Delilah never loved him or cared for him – it was about the money. I’m not even sure she was patriotic to the Philistine cause or country.

Conspiracies are so deceitful. I believe the Lord can expose conspiracies through the prompting of His Spirit. I believe that the Lord can open my eyes to things that I wouldn’t notice any other way. This usually money or power involved in a conspiracy. Both of these ingredients can be destructive on their own. When couched in conspiracy, they can be incredibly destructive.

I want all my cards on the table. I want to deal honestly and openly with others. I don’t want there to be even a tiny hint of conspiracy. I want to always live and work with integrity as the bedrock of each relationship that I have. What you see is what you get. I believe that living out of a heart devoted to the Lord will direct my path the way He would have me live every day.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Manipulation

tug of warI am not a fan of this word in the context of using control or influence to cleverly or unscrupulously mislead or direct certain behavior. Others have manipulated me and I find it pretty distasteful. I must confess that I’ve been guilty of manipulating others to get them to do what I want. This is especially handy for parents. I fight hard against manipulating my kids. There are parents who “guilt” their kids into doing things that they want done. Manipulation carries with it deceit and ulterior motive that moves it into the negative category. There is a pretty thick line between motivating someone and manipulating them.

Isaac’s wife Rebekah clearly favored her youngest son Jacob over her oldest Esau. Jacob manipulated Esau earlier to get his birthright. Isaac is now an old man, very blind and feels like it’s his last days so he wants to bless his oldest son. Rebekah overhears the conversation between Isaac and Esau and she gets to work helping Jacob manipulate his dad to steal the blessing. Check this out…

6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, ‘Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, 7 “Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the Lord before I die.” 8 Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: 9 go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so that I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it. 10 Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies.’ (Genesis 27:6-10 NIV)

Jacob plays along with his mom do manipulate his dad. I think Isaac asked him like three times “are you Esau?” and Jacob lies. Rebekah had left nothing to chance. She dressed Jacob is Esau’s clothes which apparently sealed the deal. Check this out…

27 So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said,

‘Ah, the smell of my son

    is like the smell of a field

    that the Lord has blessed.

28 May God give you heaven’s dew

    and earth’s richness –

    an abundance of grain and new wine.

29 May nations serve you

    and peoples bow down to you.

Be lord over your brothers,

    and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.

May those who curse you be cursed

    and those who bless you be blessed.’ (Genesis 27:27-29 NIV)

I believe manipulation is usually sprinkled with deceit and dishonesty. Motivation is creating urgency from honesty. I’m left with the question of why the Lord allowed some manipulation to happen. I believe He could have stopped it. As the story of Jacob and Esau unfold, it becomes clear that the Lord built Jacob into a strong man of deep faith. Early on it didn’t seem that Jacob had much going for him. Obviously the Lord allowed Rebekah’s and Jacob’s manipulation to work as Jacob ended up with both the birthright and the blessing. I don’t always understand God’s ways, but I’ve learned that they are ALWAYS the best.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Deceit & Dishonor

Trust with blue markerI’ve seen deceit up close and first hand. I will confess that I’ve deceitful in my past. I have long since realized what a dead end road that is. Honesty is always best even though it can be painful. The closer to the Lord I become, the more I realize how much He hates deceit. He is a Champion of Truth. Deceit brings dishonor to all who practice it. The truth finds it’s way through the web of deceit.

Ezekiel was asked by the Lord to speak against people who were deceivers among his people. They were speaking as if the Lord was speaking to them and through them. It was really just a scam. Check this out…

17 ‘Now, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people who prophesy out of their own imagination. Prophesy against them 18 and say, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: woe to the women who sew magic charms on all their wrists and make veils of various lengths for their heads in order to ensnare people. Will you ensnare the lives of my people but preserve your own? 19 You have profaned me among my people for a few handfuls of barley and scraps of bread. By lying to my people, who listen to lies, you have killed those who should not have died and have spared those who should not live.

20 ‘“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people like birds and I will tear them from your arms; I will set free the people that you ensnare like birds. 21 I will tear off your veils and save my people from your hands, and they will no longer fall prey to your power. Then you will know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 13:17-21 NIV)

 

I believe that the Lord finds dishonesty detestable. I also believe that it is dangerous to quote the Lord as having “said something to you” that He didn’t really say at all. I believe that His Word speaks clearly for Him. I also believe that if anyone says “this is what the Lord says” and it contradicts His Word, then it is false.

I do feel led by the Lord to do certain things and say certain things because of His Presence in me. I can’t always explain why I felt led to do what I did. I’m learning to listen as He directs. I try to never get my own way and call it His Way. I believe that to be dishonest and deceitful. I don’t want to be afraid to speak when He prompts me, but I want to be sure it’s His Spirit doing the prompting and not my own agenda or the enemy trying to do something through me. I must keep in close fellowship with The Spirit of God or order to only speak when He speaks.

Pressing On!

Dwayne