Summary: How can a christian keep himself pure and usable to God? Find out as you read this sermon.
THESE LITTLE FOXES
Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines… Songs 2:15
But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, and neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. James 5:12
Many times as believers, we walk ourselves into the devil’s trap of lying by saying things we do not really mean. As the Bible says in our text, we should always say the things we mean. Let us look at some specific ways the devil gets us to lie. I will expose some of his devices. These sorts of lies are being practiced by many Christians. Now remember, we are guilty of lying when we do not keep our word. If you like, tell me these lies are harmless; a lie is a lie. These little or ‘harmless’ lies graduate into more deadly ones.
1.) "I will call you back tomorrow."
Thank God for the telephone system that hides your countenance from the one you are talking to. This excuse is often used with a deliberate intent to deceive. The person does not call back at the appointed time and will call back at a much later date with excuses of why he was unable to call. Most times, other ‘harmless’ lies are told to cover for the earlier one; "I just was so busy, I meant to call but just couldn’t." We all have been guilty of this, but we need to realize when we say we will do something we need to keep our word. We do understand there are legitimate reasons that make it impossible at times to keep our word. This is not the case we are referring to here. It would be better when we are not certain to say "I will try to call you back tomorrow."
2.) "I will be happy to do that for you."
How many times have you promised assistance to people, knowing you won’t render it, just to dismiss them? Many times we have made people trusting our words a very difficult thing. You must be a promise keeper. How would you feel if God went back on the promises He made to you? When next someone approaches you for any assistance, if you know you cannot offer it, passionately tell the person. It is more honourable that way than giving a promise you cannot keep.
We could list numerous examples but these two cover a lot of territory; any time we say the words "I will" we need to be responsible to do it. We all, on occasion, fail to do the things we have good intentions of doing or we are hindered in some way and can’t do them. However, if we are unable to keep an appointment we should be thoughtful enough to call and cancel, or tell of our delayed arrival. We are living in an age when there are so many uncaring attitudes expressed. As Christians, we can be good witnesses by being different.
Avoid over-commitment as it would always lead you into promising what you won’t be able to fulfill. People that tend to over-commit sometimes have a pride problem and are people pleasers. They want people to like them so they offer to do things for them, and because they are unable to keep their promises to all, they end up not being able to keep their word; thus they are dishonest.
As Christians we need to ask the Lord to forgive us if we are guilty of lying or deceit. It is a very serious matter with God when we lie. Read of the incident of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts chapter 5 in the Bible. They both fell dead when they lied to Peter and by extension the Holy Spirit.
We can overcome this evil menace through the power of the Holy Spirit as we seek to be like Jesus. We not only do not want to lie, but we also want to keep our word so that people know we are honest and trustworthy. As Christians, we want to represent our Father well in this life and be honest and free from fabrication and fibbing.
Jesus says, “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” When next you want to make a promise to somebody, consider Jesus and also consider your ability to fulfill what you want to promise. Shalom!