Average… Empty Promises!

Posted: November 17, 2014 in Average..., Podcasts

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imagesMatthew 5:33-37 And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.

Hello i’m Dr. ed peterson the host of the me and I Am post and podcast. The verses i just shared are what Jesus said to the crowd of people in the Sermon on the Mount.  These words are the next portion of my look at whether i am average… or not.

In the past few posts i shared about paying attention to the character of a person versus their personality, their ability to speak well or their appearance. Empty Promises is probably not the best title for this portion of the word. “Integrity” may fit better. Integrity is a reputation of trustworthiness that is built up over a period of time and is proven by our behavior, our conduct both in and out of the limelight, both in the public view as well as when no other human is looking. This is exactly the point of what Matthew 5:33-37 is trying to convey through Jesus words.

i heard this story, “My boy,’ said the businessman to his son, “there are two things that are essential if you are to succeed in business.” What are they, Dad?” Asked the boy. “Integrity and sagacity. What is integrity?” “Always, no matter what, always keep your word.” Replied the dad. “And sagacity?” Asked the boy? “Never give your word!” Answered the dad.

That story reflects the epidemic of lies, deceitfulness, and distortion of truth that saturates our world today. It’s hard to know who or what to believe. There is no hope of objective truth – truth which is true for all people everywhere, regardless of age, nationality, ethnicity, gender, education, or income level. What’s true for me may not be true for you. Truth has become subjective.

images-1Some examples… Companies have assured their clients that their private financial or health data is totally safe and secure with them, until a buyer was found willing to offer the right price. Corporations have gone out of business or their executives have been imprisoned because of lies they told their investors. The health of millions has been jeopardized because tobacco companies never told the truth to smokers about the high risks of cancer. Drug companies have withheld serious risk factors of their products until deaths of patients precipitated legal proceedings. Tragically, some Christian organizations have also played fast and loose with the faithful contributions of their sponsors. Sadly, so much of the legal profession today is caught up in trying to find clever, sophisticated ways to bypass, avoid, undermine or conveniently twist the law and the truth to suit their client’s purposes. It would take a highly trained, high paid lawyer to interpret to most of us all the fine print of so many of the deals and transactions we make, that we generally just sign and hope for the best. And how about our wedding vows? I do, i do, i do, i do, i don’t!

To try to get the truth in a court of law, we used to have to raise our right hand and place our other hand on the Bible and “swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God”. But the fear of God, the mention of His name, and the use of the Bible have been banished from our judicial system. However, it is still assumed that when you stand before a judge and make a statement under oath that to knowingly give false testimony, makes you guilty of the crime of perjury.

Jesus says, if you don’t want to be average then “Don’t say anything you don’t mean. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong. You become average.

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