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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Honesty Is the Best Policy

Proverbs 6:12-15 (ESV)
12 A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech,
13 winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger,
14 with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord;
15 therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.

My first reaction to this scripture was: “Is this a description of a politician?”

I know that thought is unfair. There must be some people who go into politics who are honest, trustworthy and the highest character. However, this isn’t what we normally observe. We find that our politicians are always playing politics. They are maneuvering over their opponents. They always sow discord so that they can be perceived as better than others. They expect medals when they solve the problems they caused in the first place.

They are always running for re-election. They seldom selflessly serve the people. They are more concerned with their image what is right. I don’t think that many of them can distinguish between what is right and what makes them look good.

But that can’t be the motivation of a Christian. The Christian must be open and honest. This must be guarded because it being righteous man not be popular. In fact, righteousness is being presented as more and more unpopular. Maybe that’s why we get the politicians we are getting. A righteous unpopular politician can’t be elected. Remember, they call it a “popular” vote.

And that, too, isn’t the concern of the Christian. The Christian must only please one Person. The Christian needs only one popular vote. The Christian serves and pleases the Lord alone.

Around here we have something called “Best of the Beach.” Many of the businesses have a sign out front indicating that their customers voted in the Virginia Pilot (local newspaper) contest for their business as the best in their category. I joke that I am working to get the “Best of the Beach Husband” award. Of course, I only need one vote.

The same is true as a Christian. I only need one vote to be successful. I only serve one Person.  I am always seeking this vote.  There isn’t a time that I am off the clock. I am always trying to please Him.

The Proverb also gives a negative side of this dishonest person. The end is destruction. The end is failure. They will be broken beyond healing. In other words, all that they have had will be taken from them.

It is so easy to see those who are dishonest as profiting but never getting caught. I often look at temporary things and think they are permanent. What is gain for them today is destruction tomorrow. Yes, honesty is the best policy. And when you are honest with the One you will be honest with all. 

2 comments: said...

Pro 6:12 started with "A worthless person" and the phrase is then followed by a comma (in this ESV) and "a wicked man"; it made me want to check to see who exactly was the text of Pro 6:12-15 was referring to.

Various versions gave different renderings, one puts it as "a naughty person, a wicked man", another, "the unthrifty man AND the wicked man", yet another, "a good-for-nothing scoundrel". And there is still some more; you can look at them from biblegateway's site.  From my understanding of other scriptures, and from the Lexicon expanded help section, I would put this verse to read as: A destructive man - a wicked man, one who goes about with crooked {dishonest} speeches, 

For the starting phrase, we can leave it as "a worthless person", or you can use "a destructive person" as I have preferred, or one of the key words depicting Satan or Belial. In fact, one translation has it as "A man of Belial".  In other words,  Belial's or Satan's man.  John 10:10a reveals to us that Satan came to steal, kill, and destroy.  Those who follow Satan are destructive, just as their master is destructive.  This, together with the Lexicon, contributes to my assigning "A destructive person", in place of  "A worthless person".  Is worthless not also a key word depicting Satan? Yes, if one is stubbornly wicked, he is worthless; like Satan, if the person is continued in his way, he will end up joining Satan's destiny  - into the ever burning fire of Hell; no use to God, and so, worthless.

When we have read enough of Scripture, both the OT and the NT, we cannot help receiving the message that while God is long-suffering, wanting to give sinners opportunity to see the folly of their ways and turn back, repent, He is also very upset with those I called as the stubbornly wicked men.  If one is stubbornly wicked, he better be warned, this text applies to him - "disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy" (v15, NIV).  In psalms, we also read of psalmists saying things like: such wicked men plot evil with deceit in their heart (v14), setting trap, to snare others. We would read psalmists saying to God, to let such evil people fall into the very pits they dug for innocents.  In other words, let the calamity they intended for the innocent, turn on them, in an instance, instead.

So, we should not feel there is injustice with God, that wicked men looked enjoying "swell life".  Even if they do not get what Pro 6:15 said, by the end of their life, what awaits them is judgment and eternal punishment according to the justice of God.  As Christians, we must believe there is eternity as said in Scripture; making life on earth, a very, very short phase, in the overall scheme of things.  Everything of the world is transient, and we are to love it, NOT.  With God mine, nothing is missed, even when much worldly goodies are missed. Don't you agree? 

Cont... said...

Cont. From above

Do not be too tight-fisted about things of the world.  Do not bend over, to unrighteousness, to procure or secure things of the world.  Therefore, do not deceive, for that would turn us into the children of perdition; do not set up evil snare against the innocents, for God would hear their cries, and may turn your very snare on you; and do not neglect to guard your heart and mind, or the lies of Satan will find it's way in.  Always ask if there is malaise in what you want to say, or do; always ask what your heart's motive is - is it honorable; and always ask if you are doing unto others, what you do not want others to do unto you.  

Be honest with God, and tell God you want to be honest, and be honest that you need His help to maneuver through life.  Ask God for wisdom to live an honest life; and please shun evil and wickedness, for without shunning evil, there can be no godly wisdom to be given. Be intent on being honest; speak honestly, and act honestly.  Indeed, honesty is the best policy.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions - Better die a pauper and be rich in Heaven, than to die rich, but forfeited your soul. Satan came to steal, kill and destroy souls, but Jesus has come to give life, and life abundant.