Be Honest

Be Honest

I am not a political junkie and I try to observe Prov 18:13,17.  Prov 18:17 states, “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.”  Prov 18:13 shares this wisdom, “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame”.  I am never privy to all the facts, or really any of the facts, and so I must remember that I get my facts through a commentator who is going to slant his reporting.  No matter how fair and balanced he tries, or does not try, to be. Because I am unable to speak to anyone who is involved, I do best to observe Prov 18:13.  Today, though, I would like to make an observation about a reaction that I have watched and seen that I find very human. President Biden spoke to this issue and so we are able to see what he believes to be true about himself.  

When classified documents were found in his garage, President Biden spoke forcefully about how serious he takes the handling of classified documents.  When more documents were found, where they should not be, he doubled down on how serious he takes the handling of these kinds of documents.  When they were found in two more places where they should not be, the President stopped commenting.  I am not making a comment about the handling of documents.  I am sure that subordinates handled these documents and it may well be that the President did not know, I will let you guys argue those points out.  My observation is how human this response it.  It is the type of response that we often give when we are confronted with our actions.  We want to distance our character with the actions.  “That is not me, normally I do not say those things”.  “I hate lying, I simply misspoke”.  “I am not an angry person.  I am just stressed”.  We even carry this tendency over to our children.  We dismiss their bad behavior with the notion that they are generally good kids.

Here is what the Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9.  Our hearts deceive us.  We believe we are much better people than we really are.  In reality, apart from Christ we are sinners who are at enmity with God.  Our hearts are bent toward evil.  Rather than be surprised when we sin, we should recognize our true self coming out. We work really hard to help our children control those evil desires to not share, be mean, or selfishly desire everyone to pay attention to them.  Like President Biden, we may truly believe that we are someone we are not.  Our actions always speak louder than what we think we are.  When God allows us to recognize that in ourselves, and in our children, we are then pointed toward the path that will allow us to truly change.  Confession and repentance lead to a new heart that will be bent toward God.  A heart that can honestly say that it desires to do good.

You did not oops.  Your children are not good people who occasionally do bad things.  Apart from Jesus we are sinners who work really hard to make ourselves look good on the outside.  If you have given your life to Christ, then the battle really begins. Will you follow your new heart or be drawn back into the evil of the old heart?  When we mess up, fess up.  Admit that your actions were truly a reflection of who you are as a person.  That lie, that gossip, that laziness is still part of your old nature and by God’s grace you have been forgiven and you will, with the Spirit’s help, seek to follow the new nature in the future.  I love the way Prov 26:18,19 calls us out, “Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor, and says, ‘I am only joking!”.  No, you were not joking.  See yourself, at that moment, for who you really are.  It is then that you will learn to rejoice in the mercy and grace of God who still loves you.

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