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Can I Trust Him?

Numbers 23:19

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"God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?"  (NASB) 

I consider myself to be an honest man. Partly because it is the right thing to be, but also because I agree with Mark Twain who said, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."* All in all, honesty really is the best policy.

I'm not alone in thinking that I'm basically an honest person. 2,624 out of nearly 3000 people who took a Reader's Digest poll said they thought the were "basically honest," yet the average respondent admitted to having been dishonest in 5 of the 13 questions they responded to in the survey. For instance, 63% said they had called in sick when they really weren't ill. 77% admitted that they had lied to friends or family members about their appearance so they wouldn't hurt their feelings, and 37% have downloaded music from an Internet site without paying for it. After taking the survey, one man said, "Answering these questions is making me re-evaluate my honesty." (http://www.freshministry.org/illusrations.html)

Those numbers are startling, and even more so when you stop to consider that some of the people taking the poll may not have been totally honest. I don't mean those who claimed to be dishonest. You can be sure that those who say they lie are telling you the truth. Because if they never lied and told you they did, they would be lying, which would make them exactly what they were confessing to be. So in other words, you can always trust that a person is telling you the truth when they say they are lying. But you can't be so confident in the integrity of a person who claims to be truthful. After all, it wouldn't bother a liar to lie to your face and tell you that he is always truthful, would it? Are you as confused as I am?

Anyway, even if you think you are basically honest, can you say that you've always been totally honest? If I took the Reader's Digest poll and had to answer every question with a "yes" or "no" answer, I would do worse than if I could hedge my answers by saying, "not often," or "only in extreme circumstances" or one I've learned from listening to politicians, "not to my recollection." In other words, I can't claim that I've always been totally honest, can you? Can anyone? Especially when you consider that we can lie without speaking. Mahatma Gandhi said, "To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest."* Do you do everything you say you believe? We can also be dishonest without saying or doing anything. Robert Louis 

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