I have to live with myself, and so
I want to be fit for myself to know,
I want to be able, as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don’t want to stand, with the setting sun,
And hate myself for the things I’ve done.
I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf,
A lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself, as I come and go,
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of a man that I really am;
I don’t want to dress up myself in sham.
I want to live life with my head erect,
I want to act good to deserve your respect;
And make you think I’m better’n I am;
But it’s just a game & an empty sham.
‘Cause I know I’m bad, & God knows too,
So why should I try to hide it from you?
No, I never can hide myself from me,
I see all the sins that you cannot see;
I can fool you sometimes & put on a show,
But I never can fool myself, and so,
Why not be honest & make my confession?
So God gets the glory, & you get the lesson!
–Edgar A. Guest (adapted by Hart)
While stationed in Japan, my brother, an Army lieutenant, was impressed with the efficient maid service in his bachelor officers’ quarters. But, to remove temptation, he always hid his prized Nikon camera before leaving his room. One day he forgot and left the camera out on his bed. He was worried on his return to find it gone–until he discovered that the maid had put it back in its proper hiding place!
A storekeeper went away for the day and left his clerk in charge. A customer came in and asked a favor of the clerk, which meant he would have to do something dishonest. “You can do it, if you want to,” argued the customer, “because your master is out.”
The clerk looked the man straight in the face, and said: “You are mistaken. My Master is Jesus Christ, and He is never out.”
A diplomat is a gentleman who can tell a lie in such a manner to another gentleman (who is also a diplomat) that the second gentleman is compelled to let on that he really believes the first gentleman, although he knows that the first gentleman is a liar, who knows that the second gentleman does not believe him, yet both let on that each believes the other, while both know that both are liars.
An illustration used by a Chinese evangelist: A woman with a bundle of dirty washing had taken it to the riverside with the purpose of washing it. But she was ashamed to open it for fear someone would see how dirty it was; so she just plunged the whole bundle into the water, jogged it up and down several times, and then went home with it. A lot of people are like that foolish woman. They have many sins that need to be cleansed, but they are not willing to bring them out and confess them one by one. They just say, “Lord, I am a sinner, forgive me.” So, they cover up all their sins, their thefts, and their lies, and their jealousies, and their hatred. But they have to be brought out and confessed, and only then can they be cleansed.
In her book, Floods on Dry Ground, Eva Stuart Watt describes missionary work in the Belgian Congo, and says: “Even among the enemies of the Gospel there was growing a secret admiration for those whose lives were out and out for God. The term, ‘Bakrustu ya kweli,’ was often heard on heathen lips. It means ‘real Christians.’ Far and wide they were known as men of truth, and men whose prayers got answered. One day the paramount chief had a big court case in which a Christian was charged with hiding a Mabudu prisoner. At the tribunal, the chief said to the accused, ‘Tell me, did you hide that man?’
‘No, Chief, I didn’t.’ Then turning to his soldiers, he said, ‘You liars, the lot of you! This man is a Bakrustu ya kweli! He couldn’t tell a lie!'”
Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace” tells the sad story of a young woman named Mathilde who aspired to be welcomed in big society. However, she was the wife of an ordinary French citizen.
One day Mathilde’s husband obtained an invitation to attend an elegant ball.
The young woman borrowed from a wealthy friend a suitable necklace to wear at the state occasion.
The lovely adornment received many compliments from the aristocracy of the evening; Mathilde lost the beautiful jewelry.
Her husband borrowed thirty-six thousand francs, tapping every available source. He bought a necklace that looked exactly like the one Mathilde had worn. Mathilde returned this to her friend, telling her nothing of what had happened.
For ten agonizing years, the couple slaved and toiled to pay back the thirty-six thousand francs they had borrowed. They sold their home, dismissed servants, and lived in a slum in order to pay the fearful debt. Each worked at two jobs in a desperate attempt to pay off the debt.
After it was finally paid, Mathilde saw her well-to-do acquaintance one day. She confessed all and revealed the misery she had suffered in paying for the replacement.
It was then that her friend explained that the necklace Mathilde had borrowed was only made of paste. It was worth five hundred francs or less.
Truth often hurts, but it’s the lie that leaves the scars.
Lie about others as you would like them to lie about you.
It is easy to tell one lie but difficult to tell only one.
A lie has no legs; it has to be supported by other lies.
It’s a lot more difficult to be a consistent liar than to tell the truth.
The kid who used to be the town’s cutest fibber is now a bold-faced old liar.
A promise is something you can keep after giving it.
Tom & Jerry were partners in a profitable contracting business. Unfortunately, they weren’t entirely honest because they mixed their paint with water. One day, Jerry’s conscience started to bother him as they painted a poor widow’s house. The next day Jerry told Tom he just couldn’t be dishonest anymore. “Don’t quit now,” Tom begged. “A few more jobs & we can retire.”
Jerry refused to change his mind. “Tom,” he said, “I just can’t do it. Last night an angel stood by my bed & said, ‘Repaint, you thinner.'”
Thou must be true thyself
If thou the truth wouldst teach;
The soul must overflow if thou
Another’s soul wouldst reach;
It needs the overflow of heart
To give the lips full speech.
Think truly, and thy thoughts
Shall the world’s famine feed;
Speak truly, and each word of thine
Shall be a fruitful seed;
Live truly, and thy life shall be
A great and noble creed.
The truth may hurt but a lie is agony.
Be on the level & you are not likely to go downhill.
No one will ever know of your honesty unless you give out some samples.
We can’t put our faults behind us until we face them.
Confessing your sins is no substitute for forsaking them.
One thing you can give & still keep is your word.
The person who is straightforward & honest doesn’t have to worry about a faulty memory.
Another good thing about telling the truth–you don’t have to remember what you said.
De sunflower ain’t no daisy, & de melon ain’t no rose;
Why is dey all so crazy, to be sumfin else dat grows?
Jes’ stick to de place you’s planted, & do de bes’ yo’ knows;
Be de sunflower or de daisy, de melon or de rose.
Don’t yo’ be what yo’ ain’t, jes’ yo’ be what yo’ is;
If yo’ am not what yo’ are, den yo’ is not what yo’ is;
If yo’ is jes’ a little tadpole, don’t yo’ try to be a frog;
If you’s only de tail, don’t try to wag de dawg.
Pass roun’ de off’ring plate, if yo’ can’t exhawt & preach,
If you’s a little pebble, don’ try to be de beach;
When a man is what he isn’t, den he isn’t what he is;
And as sure as I is talkin’, he is gwine to get his.
A minister wound up the services one morning by saying, “Next Sunday I’m going to preach on the subject of liars. And in this connection, as a preparation for my discourse, I should like you all to read the 17th Chapter of Mark.”
On the following Sunday, the preacher rose to begin, & said, “Now then, all of you who have done as I requested & read the 17th Chapter of Mark, please raise your hands.” Nearly every hand in the congregation went up. Then said the preacher, “You are the very people I want to talk to. There is no 17th Chapter of Mark!”
Get your problems out in the open & confess your needs & be humble enough to be honest enough to tell people what you need & what you want! That’s true not only in sex, but all through life in our relations with others. (2Tim.2:17) If you keep something in your heart & you keep it to yourself, & if you’re too proud to admit it & not humble enough to ask for the solution, it will become a little root of bitterness that will grow & eat just like a cancer. (Heb.12:15)
You know what they do in almost any court of law before a judge? If the witness lies about only one thing, even if 99% of what he said is the truth, if he tells one lie they throw his whole testimony out! He has perjured himself, meaning he has lied, & thereby disqualified himself from being a witness. Every one of these people we witness to is a little judge examining your testimony, & if they catch you in one lie, that’s it!
It’s not easy to confess you’ve been wrong, but it’s a lot easier than staying wrong to try to support a false position!
Sometimes it helps to bare troubles rather than bear them.–James 5:16
The confession of a small truth sometimes covers a huge deception.
The nearer a lie is to the truth, the more deceitful it is.