People lie with incredible ease these days. Empty, unkept promises fill the air, and it’s common to speak what we believe people want to hear. Flattery brings a smile or manipulates but leaves the victim empty and the liar or flatterer headed for destruction. Let me give you a couple of personal examples.
Years ago, a pastor would say, “Ron, I love you!” during each visit. The words, empty as I soon discovered, made me feel good at first. However, he regularly didn’t honor his word in our relationship. Outright lying and not fulfilling promises had become his way. I recently had a negative experience with a local business and was promised a call by one manager who didn’t keep his word. A second manager also made empty, unmet promises. The situation was finally addressed, but distrust had set in. Perhaps many of you have had similar experiences of flattery, empty promises, lies, broken contracts, or deceit in relationships. Maybe it’s a phone call that never came or an email that never materialized. I’m sorry if so! It wasn’t always this prevalent and certainly isn’t what God intends!
“A man’s word is his bond” was a common phrase once upon a time. And a handshake was as good as a contract because people kept their word. The understanding was that if a person could not be trusted, they would be of little value as a community member. God-fearers and Christ-followers understood that God valued honesty and word-keeping and that anything else would bring deadly consequences.
Telling the truth has always been important to God. At the beginning of time, He spoke, and stuff happened. The heavens and earth appeared, as did all creatures on land and sea and in the air. God spoke through the prophets and what He said through them came true. God promised to provide a way back to Him. Once again, He kept His word. God is fair and just; He does what He says He will do. Honoring His promise to send a savior is one reason why God is love – the kind of love He desires from us (1John 4:17-21). He has no use for liars and deceivers in this world, His Kingdom, or the coming age:
He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. —Revelation 21:7-8.
So, keep your promises, do what you say you’ll do. Don’t lie or deceive others but be trustworthy as God is trustworthy. In that, we can love as God loves and join Him in this age and the next.
Questions or comments? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blessings and peace,
Pastor Ron Braley, Northview Christian Church