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Is It Ever Okay to Lie?

September 20, 2016

Have you ever served on a jury?

I have and found the experience to be quite fascinating.

My case?

The big, bad insurance company vs. the little guy, who paid hundreds of dollars in premiums to said mega-company in exchange for the peace-of-mind-in-case-something-happens homeowner’s policy.

Well something did happen. The little guy’s home was burglarized.

Then his claim was denied.

Not having heard the details, one might be inclined to think the big, bad insurance company wasn’t keeping up their end of the bargain.

But that wasn’t the case.

On day one, a critical section of the policy was read aloud to the jury. It clearly stated if any portion of the claim was false, the entire claim would be null and void.

After the closing arguments, twelve of us “little guys” sat around a table sharing our key take-a-ways. Opinions went flying, but the one thing we all agreed on? The little guy lied. Not about all of it, but about some of it.

So we had no choice but to rule in favor of the big, not-so-bad-after-all insurance company.

The moral of the story?

Even a half-truth doesn’t pay.

We all face times when a lie seems right, when a lie seems easier, nicer, softer in a where’s the harm in it kind of way.

Maybe we’re afraid the truth will hurt. Maybe we’re shielding people like that famous line from Jack Nicholson, “You can’t handle the truth.”

Who gave us the authority to decide who can’t handle which truth?

We try softening lies by referring to them as bending the truth. We label less significant untruths as little white lies because it makes them sound fresh and crisp like laundered linens. Truth is, sin is sin. We can dress it all in white, but it won’t make it pretty and it won’t make it truth.

And while we don’t like to think of ourselves as full-blown liars, I’m pretty sure God isn’t on board with little white ones or half-truths either.

Warm and fuzzy lies don’t move mountains.

It may be hard, but when we tell the truth, it frees people. It allows people to experience what they need to experience. It allows people a choice to make positive changes in their life.

We don’t need to be hateful to be truthful. And don’t forget, we need to hear the truth, too.

Then there’s the whole lying to ourselves thing, including how we’re of no value, not able, and not good enough. The truth is, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.

He thought we were worth going to the cross for, so let’s believe Him.

Here’s more truth. Satan whispers lies to us, but we can’t give him all the credit. We tend to help him out in this department, am I right?

Lies may seem harmless, but they can quickly grow from a seedling to a bean-stalk. Bean stalks lead to fee-fi-fo-fum and the giant is real. But we can slay the giant. David showed us that.

Here’s some good news. It may come as no surprise that telling the truth has positive health benefits.

WebMD published an article on the health benefits of telling the truth:

“Our findings support the notion that lying less can cause better health through improving relationships,” says researcher Anita Kelly, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame. “Improvements in the relationships accounted for a significant improvement in health.””

“What we are suggesting is, not violating others’ expectation of honesty is likely to build trust, which may be key to good health through improving our relationships.”

The findings echo some other research findings by Sally Theran, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Mass.

“My research on girls and boys … indicates that the process of being authentic, or being honest and open in meaningful relationships, is significantly related to feeling less depressed and having higher self-esteem,” she says.

Honesty is also related to feelings of intimacy in friendships, she has found. “There may be increased conflict, as a result of being open and honest, but it leads to better quality of friendships,” Theran says.

Telling the truth can feel risky, she says, but when you do so, you can feel less inner conflict. “When we lie,” she says, “it adversely affects our self-esteem and increases our sense of shame. So, it’s not surprising at all that the authors found that telling the truth was related to all these positive outcomes.”

Did you catch the part about how lying increases our sense of shame?

When we lie to others, we’re not doing them any favors and we’re not doing ourselves any favors either.

Let’s be totally real and totally honest. It’s better for our relationships, health, and spiritual well-being.

Always offer truth because truth = trust. tweet it

We can always trust God and He always tells the truth. The Word tells us Jesus is the truth. Let’s follow His lead.

Truth is freedom. Let freedom ring…

“Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another.'” Ephesians 4:25 NKJV

Have you avoided telling the truth to spare someone’s feelings?

Share your comments…

 

Excerpt taken from the article: Fewer Lies, Better Health By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Health News © 2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

 

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3 Ways to Fight Feeling Alone in the Crowd

August 8, 2015

Have you ever felt alone in a crowd?

Standing in a roomful of people, your deodorant quits, as you imagine everybody noticing nobody is talking to you.

You awkwardly move about the room, attempting to jump into conversations like a competitor in a double-dutch competition.

You wind up alone in a corner, sipping punch so your hands have something to do. At this point, you’re either feeling invisible, or that people are staring right at you, as if your hair’s on fire.

Maybe you’ve never experienced this scenario, but I have a feeling some are saying yes, how did you know?

I know, because it’s happened to me.

Perhaps you haven’t experienced that, but you’ve experienced this:

That friend’s family who thinks you don’t measure up, or that promotion you didn’t get, or that guy who stood you up, or that parent who bases your value on a letter grade.

Let’s keep it real, those things cut deep, don’t they?

Those events can make the value meter hit bottom.

But hear me, we’ve got to trade those lies about our value for the truth.

The truth is, we’ve been lied to by the enemy of our soul.

He magnifies our insecurities, until we feel like something we’d scrap off the bottom of our shoe.

He tells us we don’t belong, and we believe it.

Because when we focus on ourselves, we’re not focusing on God.

What if we flipped the coin, turned the tables, chose truth?

What if we stood in a room where nobody is speaking to us, and made it missional?

Instead of trying to jump into conversations, how about we start a new one?

Yes, with the other women in the room nobody is talking to.

We were born for community, God created us that way; and we don’t need to wait for an invite.

And when we believe we are of little value, what we’re really saying is this: God has created something of little value.

I don’t agree with that, do you?

So next time we’re tempted to believe who we aren’t, let’s go to the Word to confirm who we are.

Here’s just one passage of many:

In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:11-14

Popularity is man-made.

Let’s be confident women in Christ, who know our value comes from God.

That’s the kind of woman everyone wants to be around. Not because we’re all that, but because we’re all His.

So next time we find ourselves feeling alone in a crowd,

let’s commit to:

  • Standing confidently, knowing we are where we are for a purpose and a plan
  • Becoming acutely aware of other such wallflowers and create a bouquet
  • Remembering this post, and that you are not alone

Will you join me in this commitment, and stop drinking punch in the corner?

When the World Would Have Us Shaking in Our Boots

July 27, 2015

Have you heard the news?

The world would have us shaking in our boots, and I’m not big on cliches, but this one truly fits.

I know you don’t need details, because you’ve heard it all too. There’s no sugar-coating evil.

There are times when it hits us head-on. As a bank employee for almost thirty years, I’ve been through two bank robberies.

In the first robbery, I was the teller who emptied the drawer and apologized to the robber when I didn’t have the large bills his note requested.

During the second one, I sat in the lobby at a desk behind glass, watching the event unfold, surreal, as men with guns stormed the innocent.

We’ve been through trauma, we’ve seen evil first-hand. But evil isn’t new. It’s been around a good long while.

In John 7:7 Jesus said this to His brothers:

The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.

The world we live in hates the truth. When we walk in truth, share the truth, stand up for the truth, we’re going to face some haters too.

But we need not fear and we need not cower, because after Jesus said that, Jesus said this:

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

And we can say this:

So we may boldly say:

“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”  Hebrews 13:6

And this:

The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me? Psalm 118:6

So let’s put on our boots, because we need not shake in them. We can walk confidently as children of God, and boldly say the Lord is my helper, I will not fear.

And instead of shaking in our boots when the world goes crazy, let’s kick up our heels and dance with Jesus, because He has overcome the world.

Don’t worry if you don’t know the steps, He’ll take the lead, because He is The Way.

What Makes Us Angry?

October 19, 2014

angry“Be angry, and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath,” Ephesians 4:26

Are things that tend to make us angry all about us? People cutting in front of us in line, the conspiracy train schedule making us late, grocery store out of the one item you went there for…

Let’s not waste anger on trivial things our spoiled selves take for granted. Let’s not allow anger to cause us to sin. Let’s use our anger to take action.

A friend told me yesterday a popular Mall is a hot-spot for human trafficking. Girls go missing; taken; sold. Have I walked right by, not even aware?

Three out of ten women in the US will voluntarily end a pregnancy before their 45th birthday.  A well-known organization supporting pro-choice has a video on their website. Everyone smiling, the young girl in the waiting room is called. As she walks to the back, her mother grabs a magazine. The patient asks, “what happens during the procedure?” The soft-spoken woman replies, “we empty your uterus…and it only takes 5 minute. Why do you think the ultra-sound screen is turned out of view, or perhaps not even performed at all? Heartbeat = a child in the womb, not a blob of tissue.

I’ve met some of them; women suffering in silence because they were told it was an acceptable choice. Actually, most felt they had no choice, which is so ironic. A choice isn’t a choice if one feels it’s the only choice. Many have turned pain, grief, and anger of misinformation into action, establishing and serving at pregnancy centers and becoming advocates for life; advocates for truth. Forgiven and set free, they are making a difference. Women need to know.

Terrorists, greed, be-headings of children. The starving, the homeless, the neglected. We spend millions of dollars on what makes us feel good. Do we even give, not  because we’re generous, but because it makes us feel good?

Let’s be cheerful do-good givers, not charitable feel-good takers. Let’s be devoted   loaves-and-fish(1)prayers, not naysayers.

What can one person do? What can we do together?

Christine Caine, co-founder of the A21 Campaign against human trafficking, made this statement in her book Undaunted:

“Remember, we can’t do everything, but we can all do something. Every challenge we seek to overcome will have its own dangers and difficulties. If it did not, it would not be a challenge. Toppling an unjust political system, fighting human trafficking, helping the hungry in your community, reaching lost people with the love of God, visiting those who are in prison (justly or unjustly), providing education for migrant children, bringing fresh water to the thirsty, helping a neighbor in a time of crisis, and thousands of other acts of service all come with their own unique challenges. If you and I are going to make a difference for Jesus in this world, the question is not ‘Will we face challenges?’ The real question is, ‘Will we be ready to face dangers, difficulties, and disappointments and learn to press on with an undaunted spirit?”

So next time we get angry because we broke a nail, or we can’t find the remote, let’s refocus.

Anger in and of itself is not sin, yet it can cause us to sin. Instead of losing it and lashing out, let’s redirect and reach out.

Pray for direction; seek to make a difference in the Name of Jesus. Turn anger into action, and selfishness into service. Family, community, country, world.

It’s hard to grasp the hard truth, in some countries you’d have to knock on thirty-thousand doors before finding someone who has heard the gospel.  Thirty-thousand doors.

We can’t do everything, but we can do something. 

There are opportunities to give and serve in pregnancy centers, food pantries, on mission trips, in shelters, with hot meal programs…

Let’s share our gifts, walk in our calling and spread the joy. It’s time to bloom.

Have you turned anger into action in some way?

Share what God has placed on your heart to do. Do you feel drawn to a cause or mission?

In Him,

Doris