Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Proverbs 12:19
I can recall a significant issue on a previous job in which the manager was not following the company’s policy to address an ongoing problem with a team member. As a team leader, I was responsible for ensuring that we met departmental goals. During the meeting, my manager’s tone of voice and facial expression reflected visible anger. And that is when the stream of words begin to flow as she attempted to justify her failure to correct the situation. As she was speaking, I began writing down her exact words in my journal. When I repeated her statements back as a question, “So you are stating the reasons that you are not following company policy is because of…?”
The manager’s reality of hearing her spoken words resulted in an abrupt change of behavior as she began to focus on the seriousness of the situation, omission of pertinent data. I was then asked, “What do you want me to do about this situation?” to which I replied, “The only expectation that I have is for policy to be carried out. Four months ago, I sent an email that indicated partial audits were being conducted, and the monthly statisical reports did not reflect all of the diagnostic testing data.”
Although my manager admitted that she did not complete the follow-up and suggested that we move forward, I presented the most recent reports indicating that partial audits were still being conducted. It was then that the Vice President initiated a departmental investigation. The findings showed that an additional policy was required to address a grey area or loophole that appeared to hold the client responsibile for conducting internal audits, which led to the discrepancy. Even so, the company breached their contractual agreement with the client due to a misuderstanding by one of our team members. The settlement included a modified agreement that held our department completely accountable for collecting data, identifying deficiencies, and producing a comprehensive statistical report, which resulted in the client achieving 100% compliance.
In serving God, we are unable to modify our agreement with Him. The Bible identifies our sins and shortcomings, and the angels record our daily thoughts, words, and actions. Still, God has given us the Plan of Salvation and His Spiritual team to help us serve Him with faith and obedience. If you had to describe the difference that serving God has made in your life, what would you say? Would you be able to give a before and after description of your morals and values? Would others consider you an honest and reliable individual?
Telling the truth and honesty are core characteristics required of all believers. Without honesty, we can never measure ourselves against God’s standards for righteousness, nor can we admit when we fall short. Confession and repentance have a prerequisite: a broken and contrite (feeling or expressing remorse for sin) heart. Our prayers are based on telling God the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, which He already knows about each of us.
Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? Galatians 4:16 ESV
Never compromising and choosing the truth over the lies of false information, or ceasing to practice omission–intentionally leaving out some details or ignoring a situation by pretending that it does not exist may result in others distancing themselves from us. We may end up alone, feeling as if we are the only person on an island. Yes, we will lose friends and family members who may refer to us with condescending remarks, “Oh, he or she is a Christian now.” The whispers and laughter that you hear from the family and social circles that you used to belong to provide evidence of the difference that Jesus Christ has made in your life.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, you Soldiers of the Cross! Yes, we may have to endure exclusion along with many other obstacles when we serve God, but we can have the reassurance that God will never leave us or forsake us. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6
God, we thank you for having standards for living righteous and holy lives. We ask for your strength to help us overcome all dishonest thoughts, words, and actions. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.