I spent several years where my prayer closet, sleeping spot, and ministry desk were all in the same little room. This was the foundation from where my faith grew. Our surroundings matter and what we do has eternal implications. Never underestimate the cost or the value in everything you say or do.
What you do matters, eternally. Jesus tells us, “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Revelation 22:12 NKJV).
Years ago, I was working for an Aerospace company and was under great pressure enduring an intense audit of the systems and processes I was over. A zealous young man from New York had flown out and spent a grueling two weeks investigating everything he should and twice as much beyond. But I had nothing to hide and felt confident I would pass all his testing.
The Lord can do more with an honest sinner than a lying saint. “Use honest scales, honest weights, and honest measures. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt. Obey all my laws and all my rules, and live by them. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:36-37 GW).
He went back to New York, and he continued going after more information for another two weeks. He would not give up until he found something. Finally, he came across something that could be an issue, but I was able to explain it away. But in my explanation, I was not giving the complete picture. It was a minor thing, but it was a thing. He was satisfied with my answer, and I was glad to get through another day of his testing.
If you’re not honest in the small things, then you’re not honest. Jesus taught, “Whoever can be trusted with small things can also be trusted with large things. Whoever is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in large things too.” (Luke 16:10 ICB).
After work that day, I went to teach a Christian class in prison and then went home late that night. I spent some time in Scripture and prayer and was soon ready to go to sleep. I believe how we start the day determines our day, and how we end our day determines the night.
Nobody can steal your integrity because only you can give it away. “It is better to be poor and honest than rich and evil” (Proverbs 28:6 ERV).
I laid down and was soon asleep, but then I awoke. I felt the Holy Spirit pressing in on me. I laid there awake, thinking how hard the next day would be if I did not sleep. I knew it was God who had woke me up. I have had this too many times. He often wakes us in the middle of the night, such that we would be in a surrendered position by which we could hear Him.
The greatest danger is not that you will sin, rather that you will sin and call it something else. Be honest about your sin. “All day and all night your hand was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day until I finally admitted all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, ‘I will confess them to the Lord.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” (Psalm 32:4-5 TLB).
I had this overwhelming sense of guilt for not divulging the complete facts to that auditor. I was fearful as he was so zealous against me. My job was precarious as the company was hostile to the workers. But I knew that God was never going to let me sleep again unless I was completely honest. So, in the middle of the night, I emailed that man in New York and explained the complete truth around the issue. Then I laid down and went to sleep.
It is better to fall by the truth than to be raised by deception. “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.” (Proverbs 12:22 NKJV).
We often worry more about the cost of being honest more than the cost of being dishonest. But on this night, I was ready to pay a high cost for my honesty. I fear God more than I fear man. In the end, dishonesty will always cost us more. God cannot bless sin.
Some of us are still on speaking terms with unrighteousness. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7).
Yet what happened next was such a blessing. This auditor who had been relentless in his efforts against me showed such grace with me. I passed the audit and the issue in question was never even brought up. We need to be honest and trust God with the outcome.
Our problem in the church is not that we fail to argue truth, but that we fail to live it. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV).
Friends, your honesty is not just for you, but it is an example to everyone around you. Be honest, even if it hurts. Be truthful with your words. Be fair in every business dealing you have. If you want to be holy you have to be honest, for you cannot have one without the other.
Blessings to you,