5/23/13 - PTC_Proverbs 20 - "The Honor of Honesty"
Priority Time Challenge 2013
To view the instructions for our journey through the Proverbs and the daily schedule, click here.
Proverbs 20:10 & 23
"Differing weights and differing measures—
the Lord detests them both."
"The Lord detests differing weights,
and dishonest scales do not please him."
It ought to grab our attention when we see certain concepts or phrases repeated in a given text of Scripture. It's a way God underlines or magnifies a truth He doesn't want us to miss. Today the two verses above appear in our chapter.
What? What is the basic idea in these verses? God "detests" dishonest scales.
Why? Why is the concept of dishonesty built around "scales?" I think this is God's way of showing us a truth we know mentally - be honest - as well as giving us a good reason why. We should be honest because our dishonesty harms people. In the ancient world, it would be common that people selling goods in the market would attempt to trick their customers by altering the weights that were used to measure and set the price. This was made worse because there were no standard rules of measurements. So, it was fairly easy for a vendor to rip off his customer. The customer depended on an unspoken honor code of honesty. God hates dishonesty. He hates the small dishonesty and the large dishonesty. Why? Because it ultimately abuses people. People are taken advantage of and God never wants us to see dishonesty only in the light of the mind or intellect. There is a very practical nature to our dishonesty…it harms relationships.
Think about the importance of honesty. This is the single greatest factor of why people trust you and feel safe with you. Even if you look at things selfishly, honesty is the best policy because it paves the way for better relationships for you. However, there is an even greater reason and motivation than our relational health. Honesty honors the Lord and bears witness to His character. God detests differing weights and measures because it is so very different from His consistency, dependability and truth. It may seem hard to fathom but God intends His character and nature to be found in every detail of life. It is through the way we live, relate and interact with others that God is made known. This is why Jesus could say boldly in John 14:7, "If you have seen Me you have see the Father…" Jesus conducted His life in a manner that put God on display.
Are there ever acceptable reasons to be dishonest or not completely forthright. I have to say NO. Now, please don't use this as permission to intentionally harm people with the truth. Too often we try to swing the big stick of truth and allow the vindictive part of us to deliver what is true in a hurtful or less than caring way. Remember that LOVE must govern all we do. We should speak the truth but do so in love.
Where am I tempted to be dishonest? I can tell you as a people pleaser in recovery, that I am often tempted to "differ the weights/measures" in order to make others see me in a better light. I love impressing others. Over the last 5 or so years, God has been at work in me helping me see the difference in the value of people being impressed with me and people being impressed with God in me.
Are there unresolved lies or misconceptions about you out there? This is a very pointed question and one I even hesitate to think through completely. But if there are dishonest statements still present in your relationship please go and correct them. This happened to me earlier this year. Someone gave me a wonderful gift for Christmas, a few weeks later they saw me and asked about the gift. I didn't want to tell them that I exchanged it for something else, so I lied. In the minutes to follow I felt the conviction that the Lord "detested" my lie. So, I found that friend and cleared the air and apologized. I lied and I was wrong. I immediately felt both embarrassed by my silly lie and relief that the situation was cleared up. I believe every time we are intentional to correct our bad choices we build a bigger and bigger case against that bad decision for the future.
God, I pray that You convict me every time I am even the slightest bit dishonest. Help me own it immediately and become a man that is trusted for my honesty. I pray that I model this for my kids. I pray that they become men who are dependable and honest. I pray that the Savage name is one that is honorable and protected by honesty. I pray that you give those reading this post the courage to be truly honest. I pray that our collective impact of honesty will endear the world around us.
I continue to pray for those in Oklahoma who are still dealing with their new reality on the other side of tragedy. May you comfort them and bring quick healing and restoration. Fill them with faith even as many voices around them will use this as a way to discredit You.
God I love You; I want to be more like You. Lead me with Your great wisdom today.
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