Through Theology For Us, I’m trying to meet three primary goals. I’m aiming to help you learn how to be more like Jesus, advance the kingdom of God, and glorify God in everything.
Today I want to take a look at how we can glorify God through honesty. I think this is so important because if we aren’t honest, we can never truly know what needs to happen in our lives so that we can have the kind of fulfilling life that God wants for us. If we are ever going to get anywhere or do anything for the kingdom of God, we need to be honest.
Honesty With Others
My sister lived with us for about a year, and while she was here, she helped teach my kids the Ten Commandments. They even knew them by what number they were.
My sister is pretty awesome like that.
As a result of my sister’s hard work, the kids were very good at going around letting everyone know when they were breaking one of the Commandments. My, son’s favorite thing to call out was when his sister would be lying, and he would let her know by telling her, “Number 9, Lizzy, number 9.”
As I’m sure you know, the 9th Commandment says to not bear false witness (don’t lie). The Bible makes no secret of the fact that God hates lying.
Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight. -Proverbs 12:22 ESV
When we are honest with each other, we admit that we aren’t perfect. We recognize our short-comings. We acknowledge that we are not the end-all-be-all. When we do this, we can glorify God with the kind of honesty that says, “I am not, but God is.”
I’m not perfect, I make mistakes, but God is perfect and makes no mistakes. I’m not the person I should be, but God is making me more like Him. I’m not strong enough for this, but God is my strength.
This is so important for our witness. We need to be able to admit our failures. When we show that we are not incapable of sinning and falling short, something we do all the time, we are encouraging the world to come and see this glorious God who loves us anyway.
I’ve known quite a few people who are turned off by the idea of going to church because of the people who go there. Christians are often accused of being “holier than thou.” This is a serious accusation.
People are really being hurt by us having an air of “perfection.” We should pause and reflect on that. We want to be like Jesus, and we don’t want to encourage sin, but we should be open about admitting that God is gracious enough to forgive us even though we sin. This could be the difference between a person embracing Christ or hardening their hearts against Him more.
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” -Romans 6:1-2
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” -I John 2:1-2
Honesty With Ourselves
As stated above, honesty with others is incredibly important. But how can we be honest with others when we aren’t even honest with ourselves?
It is SO hard, to be honest with yourself. The last thing we want to admit is that we aren’t the most perfect person on the planet. We don’t want to acknowledge that we are wrong, that we have failings. It hurts our pride to admit these things. Even as painful as it is to accept these things about ourselves, it is a necessary pain. We need the Holy Spirit to open our eyes and help us see the truth.
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” -I John 1:8-10
We have to be honest with ourselves. We have to know where we struggle with sin, what triggers it, how to fight it most effectively. We are our own worst enemy. How can you fight an enemy that you refuse to truly know anything about?
Honesty About Sin
One of the things that can help us the most is to really realize what sin is. When I am about to sin, when I’m about to allow temptation to have control over me, I count the cost of that sin. Sin always costs us. It will cost us our peace, our happiness, our families, and most importantly it will cost us our lives if not for the blood of Jesus.
I try to catch myself before I actually do something and remind myself that Jesus, the Son of God, the most important person in my life, had to die, He had to spill His blood, because of the sin that I am about to commit. After dwelling on that for a moment, it’s a whole lot easier to turn from that sin.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” -II Corinthians 5:21
People often say to lean on Jesus when we are tempted to sin. What does that mean? It took me a while, but I understand it now. To lean on Christ for strength and allow Him to fight sin for us means to remember what He did to free us from sin. His sacrifice is so powerful that just remembering it can take off the chains of bondage that sin puts on us.
When we lean on Christ, we look away from the flesh and listen to the Saviour. We let the power of what He did, what He went through to secure our Salvation, wash over us.
At that point, for those who are in Christ, we are empowered by our love for Jesus to turn from sin. We don’t have to do what sin says. We are given the power to overcome through Christ’s sacrifice.
This is, of course, not to say that we don’t still sin. We still sin, so much more than we want to, but we are fighting it. I’m not even close to perfect. I struggle with sin. I have to fight it, and I lose often. The point is to fight against it.
Using Honesty To Fight
And when you fight, fight with tools that can win. You can’t win by using your own will. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll see that.
The only way we can actually win this fight is with the tools that God has given us. The only way to use these tools is to be honest with ourselves that we need these tools. We can’t fight an enemy we don’t know, and we can’t win with shoddy weapons.
Honesty can be scary, but when we are honest, we are putting the results in God’s hands. We tell Him and the world that we don’t know how this will turn out but that God has commanded us to be honest.
So we choose to follow God’s commands because He means more to us than anything else. Being faithful to God is more important than reputation or fear or emotions or anything else that might sway us. Being honest is the first step toward following God faithfully and leading a life that glorifies Him.
A Call To Honesty
I hope this post encourages you to be honest. One way that we can grow together in honesty is for you to leave a comment. I would love to hear how you see honesty affecting your life. I post new content like this every Wednesday so be sure to come back next week. One sure way to make sure you don’t forget is to subscribe to my blog. That way you will receive an email when the new post is up and ready for reading. Until then, cheers!
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil…Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” -Ephesians 6:10-18a
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*all Bible references are ESV and can be found at biblehub.com