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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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Peace Beyond a Biscuit

October 24, 2014

What thoughts deluge your mind in the quiet of night and stillness of morning?

For years, my daily routine brought stress and anxiety. I’d stay up late, hoping exhaustion would override the to-do, didn’t-do, should’ve done lists waiting to flood my thoughts as my head hit the pillow.

Upon waking, another rush. It wasn’t necessarily unpleasant occurrences or circumstances, just everyday challenges of a working wife and mom, with bills and responsibilities too numerous to count.

You know that silly Jimmy Dean sausage commercial with the guy dressed as the sun? The familiar tune plays (dum, dadum, dadumdum) as he scolds listless planets for skipping a good breakfast. The planets eat a sausage biscuit, and suddenly revival takes place; a rotation dance ensues around the sun, and all is as it should be.

I thought, gee, I wish that was my job; rise in the morning, bring warmth and light, feed ’em all sausage and life is good.Baby thinking

Of course, although quite yummy, we know sausage biscuits won’t rid us of pesky, troublesome, and at times overwhelming thoughts.

It seems every negative and glass-half-empty circumstance in our life hits us hardest in the quiet of night, and the first light of morning.

These critical times of day and night can be gravely effected by these thoughts. When they come at night, sleep is robbed. When they come in the morning, joy of the day is robbed.

Would we allow someone to rob our home by intentionally leaving the door unlocked?

Too often, we allow the enemy of our soul free-reign of our thoughts. He can read our thoughts, but he doesn’t have to since we practically tell him. We leave the door unlocked, or worse yet, wide-open and vulnerable to his cunning attacks upon our mind.

As difficult as it is to ward off thoughts of troublesome circumstances in our lives, we can choose to replace them with blessing-thoughts. Surrendering our concerns and circumstances to God frees us from the impossible task of trying to fix everything we were never meant to fix in the first place.

This takes practice and discipline, but most of all, it takes a God-focused life. It takes God.

Before bed, when those thoughts come to rob our much-needed sleep, remember what is true. Remember what is lovely. Remember what is just and good. When we wake, we remember them again.                        woman thinking dorisswift

Pray with the power He has given us in the Name of Jesus.

Allow worship songs to wash over thoughts, meditating on words of truth.

Recite favorite verses that renew our minds and remind us of who God is; that He is faithful; that He is good; that He has plans for us; that He knows our name and sees us, always.

Name every blessing, every good thing by name. Seen and unseen. What is good in your life? Resist the lie there is no good, and even if you can only think of one good thing, think of one good thing.

I once asked a group of women what threatened to steal their joy. One woman wrote “LIFE” all in caps. That spoke volumes.

When LIFE threatens to steal our joy and zap our strength, we must seek the Giver of LIFE whose joy is our strength.

Here are a few encouraging verses to write on your heart:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.   Romans 12:2

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.  Philippians 4:8

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.    Isaiah 26:3

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.  Proverbs 3:24

…Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? … Matthew 6:25-27

Breathe deeper. Love deeper. Seek deeper. Walk deeper.

A sausage biscuit can’t solve our problems, and the sun can’t fix our failures; but I know a Son who can. His warmth and light brings hope and life. Jesus.

What scriptures have you found particularly comforting in this season of your life? What has the Holy Spirit revealed to you through His words today?

Blessings and Peace In Him,

Doris

The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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