SPEAKING THE TRUTH – Issues of Integrity

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Martin Luther said some amazing things…convicting things. This one stands out to me:“Peace if possible, truth at all costs.”  Leaders should be called to a higher standard. But the unfortunate reality is we can be found in the camp of fudging…the truth that is.

I’m not sure how lying became so easy. OK, for you theologians, I know it is inherent in our sin nature. In other words, lying comes naturally to every human being. Bending the truth so that you look just a little bit better. Telling a white lie so someone won’t be hurt as much. Here’s the problem, once that little shift becomes habitual, it becomes increasingly difficult to stop. Small fibs become bigger and worse, becomes the norm.

Applied to relationships, the habit will eventually shipwreck everything. It’s really only a matter of time. Apply this tendency to the workplace and you will eventually be found out. Just ask Ponzi scheme swindler as they bide their time in a Federal Prison. But apply this to God and His Word and the consequences are eternal.

When Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate, he was questioned. John 18:37-38a says “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.  Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” “What is truth?” retorted Pilate.

The reason Jesus came into the world was to testify (attest to, affirm, prove, show, confirm, demonstrate) to THE TRUTH that Jesus is God and desires a personal relationship with every human being. That Good News brings peace to everyone who embraces Him but doesn’t always bring peace to others.

As Martin Luther experienced, his declaration of the truth did not bring peace. Yet, he said “truth at all costs.” Luther proposed an academic discussion of the practice of certain religious practices of the day in his Ninety-Five Theses of 1517. He refused to renounce his writings which resulted in his condemnation as an outlaw.  Luther taught that salvation and eternal life are not earned by good deeds but are received only as the free gift of God’s grace through the believer’s faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. Truth trumps convenience. Truth tops falsehoods no matter how much easier they seem to make situations easier.

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