While recently doing my PBJ (Prayer, Bible, Journal) devotion, I was impressed with Deuteronomy 25:15-16 “A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 16 For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the Lord your God.” (ESV)
As I quieted my heart and listened, the Lord impressed the following on my mind. “As followers of God we live our lives representing His character in our interaction with people. To deal unjustly with anyone for any reason is to misrepresent Him! How can people know that God can be trusted if we as His people are not trustworthy in our dealing with them? To act unjustly, to be dishonest and deliberately cheat another person is not only sinful; it is a disgusting thing to the Lord!”
Wow that is strong! I felt a sense of the “fear of the Lord” as I reviewed the passage and the thoughts that came to me. I was reminded of Ephesians 4:25 “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth . . .” ESV). I took a quick inventory of my life and I recognized that in times past, I have not always been completely honest in my dealing with others.
I then asked myself these questions, “What is it that would prompt me to embellish or hide the truth? Why would I be tempted to be less than honest?” The answer came swiftly: self-protection, fear of loss, and dealing with the negative opinions of others. How embarrassing, but true! In my own defense, I must say that I have overcome a lot over the years, but the temptation still comes.
I also began to think of the many times that I have been deeply wounded by others due to their own fear, insecurity, and falsehood. To know that ministry involves exposing your heart to others, while at the same time that you are being held to an even higher standard, can be daunting.
I strengthened my resolve to be an honest minister of truth and concluded my devotional time with a responsive prayer to the Lord. “Thank you, Father God, for your forgiveness! Thank you for helping me to extend that forgiveness to others. Help me to continue to conquer my fears, to be honest in all things, to speak truthfully, and to walk with integrity in all areas of my life. (Psalms 15:2)
Help me to represent You with truth and righteousness in my thoughts, with my words, and in my actions. I desperately want people to know your true character, to see Christ as they interact with me!
Stahnke is a pastoral counselor in the counseling department at Focus on the Family providing counseling to individuals, families, ministry families and other ministry leaders. He advises on a variety of topics from marriage, parenting and church relations to career changes, depression, pornography, and trauma. Stahnke has been in ministry over 35 years. He has traveled to India, Philippines, Ukraine and China ministering to missionaries, native pastors and their families.