How Honest Are You?

Honesty is the virtue of truthfulness in relating to all the issues of life. Honesty is really a heart matter. It is a fundamental part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God knows the thoughts and intents of the heart. He regards truth as a most important principle because He is a God of truth (Deuteronomy 32:4). He will surely bless the complete honesty of our heart.

Some questions for your consideration:

Do you tell the truth when you might be found out, but are less than honest when no one will know?

Do you knowingly leave someone with a false impression?

Do you make purchases on credit when you know you do not have the ability to pay?

Do you tell God how it really is when you pray?

Do you honestly do everything that you know God wants you to do?

Complete text of: How Honest Are You?

Are you honestly trying to live the teachings of the Bible?

Are you the person that others think you are?

An example from the Bible:

There is an impressive story in the New Testament of a man and his wife: Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11). They sold their property, as many others had done, and made a pretense of giving the whole sum to the church. However, they privately agreed to keep back some of it. Ananias and Sapphira brought the money to the church leaders, saying they had sold it for the amount they were giving.

Their dishonesty was immediately judged by God and punished with death. In this account of the early church, hypocrisy (or dishonesty) was severely punished. God looks seriously at such falsehood. We may, like Ananias and Sapphira, give a false impression even though the words that are spoken are not a lie. We tend to forget our accountability before God. He knows our heart and expects complete honesty.


A hypocrite pretends to be someone he is not. He may claim to be truthful, but he is not careful when it is to his advantage to stretch the truth. He may talk of the needs of the unfortunate, but he is not generous to give time and money when disaster strikes. Someone may pretend to be genuinely concerned about his neighbors, and yet find it easy to gossip about them. One may pose as an honest person, but still be ready to take someone else’s money as long as he is not caught. He may even try to convince himself that he lives according to higher standards of conduct than most others while being deceitful. In any of these conditions one would be a hypocrite, and dishonest.

The hypocrisy of man has always grieved God. Jesus said, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me” (Matthew 15:8).

Bringing the heart and lips together is the challenge for man. Honesty from the core of our being is the key to finding grace and favor with the Lord.


A true Christian is an example of honesty. He prospers spiritually in direct relation to his honesty before God. The importance of honesty in relation to our fellowman also deserves careful attention. Both in word and in business dealings we must preserve confidence in one another. In order to do this, we must be willing to make any sacrifice for the sake of truth.

There is a lesson we can learn from the following example:

A teacher asked a certain boy, “Would you tell a lie for three cents?”

“No ma’am,” replied the youngster. “Would you tell a lie for ten cents?” “No ma’am,” said the boy.

“Would you tell a lie for a dollar?” “No ma’am,” was the reply. “Would you lie for a thousand dollars?”

“My,” he said to himself, “what couldn’t I do with a thousand dollars?” While he hesitated, a certain young fellow behind him said, “No ma’am.” “Why not?” the teacher asked. “Because a lie sticks. When the thousand dollars is gone, and all the good things it has bought are gone, the lie is still there just the same.”

Truth is important enough that we should be willing to inconvenience ourselves for it. The loss of our integrity is a high price to pay to save us from embarrassment. Money, honor, and fame gained by dishonesty are poor payments for the defiled conscience and the eternal judgment God places on such sin.

Do you say you are walking in the light of God while at the same time doing evil works such as…

*Not forgiving someone who has wronged you?

*Not making amends when you have wronged someone?

*Exaggerating the truth?

*Breaking a promise?

*Robbing God of tithes and offerings?

Honesty is a test of character. God knows our heart, and there is nothing hidden from Him. However, we sometimes do not relate to God as He knows us and as we really feel inside. We may not portray our honest or true self to the public. As we open our heart and life to God, all these issues can be resolved. The truly happy person is the one who is honest with God and admits who he really is.

Are you honest? God requires it, the world expects it, and we benefit from it. It is the only life that pays.

“Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts” (Psalm 51:6).

“In all things willing to live honestly” (Hebrews 13:18).

“Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men” (Romans 12:17).

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Peace, Freedom, and Happiness

Have you ever thought, “If I could be perfectly free, I would be happy; I would have peace”? Many people have sought complete freedom in order to have happiness and peace. People desire to be free of all restraints, somehow believing that if they could do just as they please, this would bring happiness. Does it?

The laughter and carefree atmosphere prevalent in today’s society seem to offer the promise of happiness. The party life is so attractive to many. People with alcohol and all night to indulge with their companions feel assured of happiness. These settings do not provide the peace and happiness people are seeking.

Recreational drugs promise wonderful highs. One would think surely these would bring happiness, and with that happiness, peace. Do they?

Modern music, which penetrates mind and body, works together with alcohol and drugs to bring more highs. This does not bring real happiness either.

Complete text of: Peace, Freedom, and Happiness

Indulging sexually to the fullest extent of human lust, with no thought of self-restraint, offers promise of fulfillment. It only brings an emptiness and disappointment. No, happiness is not found there.

In our time many are promoting the thought that in these and other areas, one should be completely free to do just as he pleases. They believe that there should be no law, no stigma, and no ill feelings for the one who indulges in these gratifications in his pursuit of happiness and peace. It is thought that total freedom ought to bring peace and happiness. Happiness is always to be found, they advocate, in yet another indulgence, another high of some kind. People think that if they are only seeking personal happiness, they will not be held responsible for their actions. They feel that they are entitled to their fair share of “happiness.”

If happiness is to be found in these ways, why the lonely feeling in the crowded bar? Why the low after the high? Why the uneasy feeling after the indulgence? Why the letdown feeling after the intimate relationship breaks off? If indulgence brings happiness and peace, why do they always seem to be just beyond our grasp? Why are there so many problems, and why does life seem so empty?

Many people are driven to succeed financially. Others excel in sports. Some strive to become famous. Even if these goals are achieved, an unsettled feeling lingers. One may find happiness for a short time, but lasting peace and happiness remain elusive. 

Self-indulgence is not true freedom. It will never bring happiness or peace. Self-indulgence is sin because it is service to self instead of service to God.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-29, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

How is it with you? Do you feel uneasy and troubled? Do the problems in the world and in your relationships cause you anxiety, guilt, and fear? Do you sometimes wonder if anybody really loves and cares for you?

Be assured God does love you. He is keenly interested that you find peace, freedom, and happiness. True peace comes not in indulging more, but in giving up yourself. Yielding yourself to God and trusting Him brings rest to your souls. Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you” (John 14:27).

Answer Jesus’s invitation. Come unto Him with all your heart. Give to Him your past, present, and future. Turn from the empty, wasted life you have been living. Then you will find true freedom, true happiness, true peace, and true love. You will have hope for the future and the promise of eternal life if you will remain faithful. May God bless you as you seek and find peace and rest.

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Love-An Essential Need in the World Today

Love… a beautiful word in any language. What does it bring to mind: affection, care, warmth, kindness, understanding, security, and mother? But think for yourself, what does this beautiful word really mean? Do you want to be loved? Do you love?

God is love and his love abiding in your heart can help you love and be loved. The source of all love is God. 1 John 4:16 reads, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” No one will ever be truly successful in finding or experiencing love unless he seeks it in and through God.

Some of the opposites of love are hatred, mistrust, selfishness, and war. We need only look at many of the conditions prevailing in the world and in many families to understand that there is a desperate need for love.

How about you? Do you feel you are loved? Do you feel an ache in your heart, a loneliness that will not go away because you feel no affection, no warmth? Do you at times feel that no one really cares? Have you grown up with parents who did not really love each other or their children? These feelings are common in today’s world where the prevailing attitude seems to be me first. An aching heart is the result of an individual indulging in his own selfish interests.

Love is not a sensual attraction that seeks to gratify its own passion, often at the expense of the other person. This attraction, which some may call love, is selfishness because it seeks its own enjoyment. Love does not promote one’s own honor or pleasure.

Complete text of: Love-An Essential Need in the World Today

The difficult things that life brings us are not an indication that God does not love us. God at times allows us to experience difficulty for our good. A parent with true love does not always give a child what he wants, but rather restrains him for the child’s benefit.

Love is self-sacrificing. True love seeks the good of others. Love is warm, sympathetic, kind. If we really love, we will care for the present and future well-being of those near to us. A loving husband and father will display his affection for his wife and children. He will gladly give and sacrifice of himself to provide an atmosphere of love and well-being. A wife and mother who truly loves will respect her husband and will instill in her children a sense of respect and love for their parents and for each other. She will gladly provide a haven of security and tranquility for all in the family. Christ exemplified love by his undeserved death on the cross.

If you feel the need of love—if there is an emptiness in your heart—you can find true love. You can find this by giving yourself to God. God loves you with a tender, caring compassion that knows no bounds. He cares for you and wants to share and help you through all the heartaches of life. If you feel alone and think that no one really cares, you can rest assured that the One who gave his Son for you does feel all your heartache and grief. In your loneliest hours and your most dismal days, He will be there to give you comfort, strength, and direction if you turn to Him.

If you do not know how to reach God, just pour out your heart to Him and He will hear. If you feel you can hardly trust anyone, not even God, tell Him so. Then ask Him to show you the way.

If you feel you are a sinner without hope of ever finding forgiveness and love, come to God with all your heart, repenting of and leaving your past sins. He will be your loving Father if you come to Him with all your heart and are willing to obey in all that He asks of you.

When God forgives and accepts you, you will feel his love and gain a relationship with Him that nothing can take away. This relationship will only be broken if we turn away from Him.

As you come to know the love of God and lose your love of self, you will find security. The security of knowing you are loved opens your heart to really care about others. You will no longer be so concerned about how people treat you. You will find that you are concerned about the needs of your fellowmen and that you have a keen desire to be of service to the God who loves you. When your affections are turned away from self, God will bless you and open your mind to many truths. The teaching in 1 Corinthians 13 will help you understand this.

When we give ourselves to God, we become a part of his family. ”Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1) One way to identify others that are a part of this family is by their love for each other. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). This is genuine love… love that cares, shares, and corrects.

If you want to know more about love, read the Gospel of John. Read Isaiah 53, where the prophet tells of the sacrifice Jesus would make for us. Read the promises in Psalm 91. Read Psalm 23. Let God lead you as you continue reading.

There can be an end to your loneliness and unhappiness. Let God take control of your life. Experience God’s love, one of the greatest blessings available to man. May God bless you.

1 Corinthians 13:1-8, 13

In the following verses, charity means love.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

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