Discipleship II

Colossians 3:9

Do not lie to one another, since you stripped off the old self with its evil practices.

This is in keeping with yesterday’s Word of the Day on discipleship. We said yesterday that discipleship has a great deal to do with transformation. Transformation is the process of letting Jesus reform us into versions of ourselves that reflect his image. We are still us, but a new and improved model, if you will.

If we have stripped off our old selves, then we have replaced them with our new selves. These new selves are not compatible with lies. Face it, we live in a culture which embraces lying. Frankly, I find that most people accept lying. At a minimum people think it is okay to lie on their tax forms. I don’t see how Christians are convincing themselves lies are acceptable in any form. One person I know claims to be born again, but even when he “tells the truth” he chooses words which taint the truth. That is not okay. His speech is colored in such a way as to mislead. Followers of Jesus are, of necessity, followers of the truth and, therefore, speakers of truth.

Another person I know lied about her health in order to qualify for her booster shot. She gave herself a malady so as to get the shot earlier. First, I doubt she truly had to lie. The truth is what sets free. She has a sick husband which would have likely qualified her, but to speak negative words about your health is to call Jesus a liar and a hypocrite because he is the healer. Never pronounce negativity about your health, even if there are facts which support it. In no case should you claim ill health when Jesus has blessed you with good health. That is just crazy, really, and an insult to the healer who is also the truth.

If we are disciples of Christ, then we shall have embraced transformation. Transformation strips us of our old selves in favor of a new self, redeemed in the blood of Christ. The redeemed self has put away evil practices. The author, Paul,, identifies lying as a symptom of the corrupt old man. We cannot be both renewed ambassadors of the Messiah and liars. Choose! If we are to be disciples of Christ, then we must allow ourselves to be transformed by the power of his grace. In this transformation Jesus helps us to strip away the deceiving old man and put on the glory of God’s goodness. As seen from today’s verse, Jesus does not do this work on his own. Transformation and true discipleship can only be accomplished through our will and God’s grace. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind and put aside the evil practice of lying.

The Simple Truth

Proverbs 19:22

What is desirable in a man is his kindness, and it Is better to be a poor man than a liar.

I appreciate when God is very clear about what He wants in and from us and this verse certainly meets that litmus test. Obviously there are two parts to this. First, kindness is a premium value in God’s heart. We saw from our study of 1 Corinthians 13 that one of God’s characteristics is that He is kind. He wants us to be people of kindness too. Maybe He even expects it of us.

Kindness is one of those things which can be demonstrated in many ways. Often, kindness is found in the small matters. I think of it as preferring others’ comfort. Some people seem to have a talent for doing the small things that just make you feel better. Others of us are going to have to be purposeful about kindness. Sometimes kindness is found in the way we speak to others and well as the way we behave. The thing we can do is to ask our Father to teach us about His kindness and then be sensitive to how He leads us.

The second part of this verse really amazes me. One might expect that this is a message which never need be spoken and yet I am continually amazed at how Christians will bend the truth, avoid the truth, deceive, mislead and even outright lie. If you looked up the things God hates last week then you know that two of them are liars (Proverb 6: 16 – 19). With that staring at us, how can we still play around with this. God tells us it is better to be poor than a liar, this coming from a guy who paves His driveway with gold. Jesus told us that lies and lying are of the devil (John 8: 44) so we must do whatever is necessary to walk in the truth.

Do you think it odd that these two ideas are contained in the same sentence? It is as if God says to us that we cannot accomplish the first directive, to be kind, without first abolishing lies from our lives. And here is a news flash, just in case you didn’t know, many times, most times probably, people know when you are lying to them. They may not say anything to you (probably because they are exercising kindness) but they know. Think of that the next time you are tempted to lie. Just think, “This person is going to know that I am lying to them”. If that does not help you restrain yourself, then we need to have another discussion and that one will also involve the word kindness.

Because we truly love our Father, we want to please Him. Well, today’s verse is a prescription for doing just that. Honor others around you by telling them the truth and being kind. Remember, you do not have to do it on your own. Your Dad is happy to help you.


Psalm 107: 6

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses.

As the infamous Joan Rivers used to say, “Can we talk?” Between you and me, we are distressed from time to time, are we not? You can be honest with me. I know that you, like me, hurt and are troubled. We keep a brave face on but truly there are times we just have nothing left to give anyone. Those we have tried to help, those we have prayed for are the very authors of our distress. They take our obedience to our Lord and abuse us with it.

Do you think that our mothers and fathers of the faith did not also feel as we do; did not suffer the same severe doubt, sorrow and anguish that we do? Sure they did, so how did they become giants of faith and loyal to the Father?
Sooner or later we all have to make a decision. We have to choose whether or not we are going to believe God or not. Even more significantly, are we going to believe the Word? If I cannot believe the Word, if I have not made a solid decision to believe what it says then where shall I go for comfort? As for me, I have decided that God is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23: 19). Has He said it and will He not do it?

Today’s verse says that they cried out to the Lord and He delivered them. So, do we believe this or do we not? Do we believe that if we cry out to the Lord He will deliver us? Are we believers or not?