Summary: All believers share the same foundational Christian ethics, at least to some degree So let us consider some piercing ethical questions of ourselves.
Know A Compulsive Liar, Crook,
1. The stereotypical pastor is old, has a collar around his neck, and never cracks a smile. He exists to spread gloom and cap joy.
2. Stereotypes are, by nature, ridiculous. For example, we associate many stereotypes when we think of dads.
3. A recent Craiglist ad gained internet fame after a group of friends in their twenties posted a request for a "generic" dad to barbecue burgers and hot dogs at an outdoor party. The ad listed several "dad-like" activities as desirable, including "grilling ...
4. How is it that cooking on a grill is considered something dads do, but baking in an oven is something mom does? Yet, this often holds true. Who knows why, really?. Why is it that we put down dads in almost every situation comedy show, yet kids with dads at home have such an advantage?
5. Ministers, dads, moms, Americans, blacks, whites all have much more in common with one another than they have differences.
Main Idea: All believers share the same foundational Christian ethics, at least to some degree So let us consider some piercing ethical questions of ourselves.
I. Do I Model Integrity and HONESTY, or Freely Lie (18)?
A. Honesty is a CONTINUUM. [show photo Liar]
1. Some people lie so freely they don’t even flinch.
2. Psychologists divide extreme liars into two categories:
Compulsive liars: tell you what you want to hear, they embellish and exaggerate lies we want to believe.
Pathological liars continue to lie, even though they know that you know they are lying. They can lie without a real purpose. verydayhealth.com
According to the Huffington Post, “A new study claims to provide the first empirical evidence showing that dishonesty gradually increases over time. By using scans that measured the brain’s response to lying, researchers saw that each new lie resulted in smaller and smaller neurological reactions ? especially in the amygdala, which is the brain’s emotional core.
In effect, each new fib appeared to desensitize the brain, making it easier and easier to tell more lies.”
3. None of us model it perfectly; average American lies twice a day.
4. Then there are degrees of truth — e.g., an estimate is not exactly true.
5. Summarizing things — as the Gospel writers do — is not lying.
6. Overly honest will get on our nerves with details we don’t care about. It is like talking to Hank Kimball on Green Acres. We must often round off truth.
7. Ecclesiastes 7:16 reads, “Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself?”
B. INTENT has a lot to do with it.
C. A dishonest person inflicts PAIN.
— often emotional pain —
— same part of brain as physical pain —
Do people close to you consider you honest and a person of integrity?
II. Is My Word DEPENDABLE, or Do I Waffle (19)?
A. DEPENDABILITY is a continuum as well.
King Saul was undependable. Sometimes he obeyed God well, at other times he disobeyed God and rationalized his disobedience.
But even dependable people sometimes fail. King David obeyed God whole-heartedly — almost. There was that incident with Bathsheba. Jonah was God’s prophet, but not dependable.
B. Sometimes a change of mind is REASONABLE and good.
King Ahasuerus changed his mind. That was a good thing. As far as Hamaan was concerned, the king was undependable. But there was new light on the situation.
What is your reputation for keeping your word? Or are you known for excuses?
III. Do I Demonstrate EMPATHY, or Am I Quick to Try to Fix Things (20)?
A. Human beings are not VULCANS. [Show photo of Mr. Spock]
B. Sadness is not something to get rid of, but it helps when others show EMPATHY.
C. Many people feel empathy, but do not know how to EXPRESS it.
D. Job’s counselors did well as long as they LISTENED.
Could You Just Listen?
When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, you have not done what I asked. When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings. When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me--strange as that may seem.
Listen! All I ask is that you listen, not talk or do, just hear me. Advice is cheap. Fifty cents will give you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same paper.
When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy, but when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel no matter how irrational, then I can quite trying to convince you and get down to the business of understanding it.