THE MINISTER AND THE DOG.
A minister saw saw a group of boys huddled around a little straggly-haired dog. He watched them for a few moments but couldn't figure out what they were doing. Finally, he walked over to the group of boys and asked what they were doing. "Telling lies," answered one of the boys.
"Yeah," added another member of the group. "Whoever tells the biggest lie gets to keep the dog."
The minister's jaw dropped open and a look of disapproval appeared on his face. "Why, when I was your age," he said, "I never thought of telling lies!"
The boys looked at each other with sad expressions. Finally, the boy who had spoken first shrugged his shoulders.
"You win!" he said. "I guess this here dog is yours!"
Those boys could recognize a lie when they heard one. And so can God.
God commands us to be honest. A long time ago, when the people of Israel had recently escaped from slavery in Egypt, God spoke to them through Moses. And many of the commands he gave them there in the wilderness near Mount Sinai were about honesty. He said, "Do not steal. Do not cheat one another. Do not lie" (Leviticus 19:11).
Those commands are pretty simple, aren't they? They're pretty clear. God tells us to be honest. He doesn't want us to lie; he doesn't want us to cheat; he doesn't want us to steal-because those things are dishonest. And dishonesty is wrong-even for ministers!
REFLECT: According to today's Bible reading, what does God say about lying, cheating, and stealing? Do you have trouble being honest in any of those areas (lying, cheating, stealing)? If so, which area(s)? Do you think being honest in one or two of those areas is enough, or do you think God expects you to be honest in all of those areas? How do you know?
PRAY: "Dear God, I know I've disobeyed you and disappointed you before by being dishonest. Please help me to obey your commands not to lie, not to cheat, and not to steal. Help me to act and speak honestly today and every day."