Honesty Works

[536 words]

Billy Ray Harris is a homeless man in Kansas City, Missouri, who, each day, would set out his cup for folks to deposit their coins. One day a lady, Sarah Darling, put some money into the cup and when she did her engagement ring fell off into the cup. Mr. Harris did not know that until that evening when he emptied his cup and found the ring. He took it to a jeweler and discovered it was worth $4000. He held the ring. Two days later Ms. Darling returned and Mr. Harris returned the ring to her. As a result of his honesty Billy Ray Harris has been reconnected with his family, has a part time job and a place to live. What is the saying? “Honesty is the best policy.”

There are many folks who would not steal a nickel. Many would do as Mr. Harris and return the ring. If a clerk gives them too much change they will return it. However, some of these individuals are not as honest when it comes to other areas. Explore three of these.

We Need to Be Honest with Ourselves. Many folks play the blame game. We need to examine ourselves (2 Cor. 13:5). Yes, this says, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” “My life would be better if my Mom and Dad had done this or that.” “My boss is holding me back.” Look at yourself. Read the book, A Child Called It and then come back with the blame game. Dave Pelzer was severely abused by his mother for many years but he has become very successful as an adult. One fellow said it like this: “The trouble with you is the fellow you shave.”

We Need to Be Honest with the Church. Some members play “Hide and Seek” with the elders and the congregation. Elders have the responsibility to watch for the soul of each member (Heb. 13:17). Members of the congregation love one another and watch for one another. Yet members forsake the assembly and never let anyone know (Heb. 10:25). Men, sometimes scheduled to participate in the worship, don’t show up. Those in charge scurry around trying to find someone to take their place. Wait! Wait! When folks are sick and in need of prayer they call someone (rightly so). When they are skipping out on worship to be involved in another activity they get lock jaw. I heard of one member of the church who, after thirty years, still signed the attendance card as a visitor. Let’s be honest!

We Need to Be Honest with God. Stop making excuses! “See preacher I would do this or that but…” Here’s the problem. God knows the real truth for, “The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity” (Psalm 94:11 ). Wouldn’t it be better to confess your selfishness to God and ask His help in overcoming it? “God, I am sorry for not seeking your kingdom first in my life” (Matt. 6:33). Honesty is the best policy. It will relieve a lot of stress.

Larry Acuff
Lithia Springs church of Christ
Lithia Spring, GA

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