Have you ever heard the phrase, "ministerially speaking?" It refers to the tendency that some preachers have of, shall we say, exaggerating just a bit?
Most of the time it is in reference to the number of people present in church the previous day. My first thought when I hear such is to be insulted. After all, why would anyone accuse me of stretching the truth? I read it on the internet. It has to be true.
And do you want to hear the worst part of it? My two favorite hobbies are fishing and playing golf. Think about that. The stories told by golfers and fishers are notorious. So I have a triple whammy.
Now, there are times when such conversation can be harmless, I suppose. To say that the 4 ¾-pound fish I caught was 5 pounds is not that big a deal. We all know that you round up to the nearest whole number.
And then the shot on the golf course may have perfectly split two trees and then curled up on the green. But what were you doing in the woods in the first place?
But then I remember the words of Jesus. "Let your yes be yes, and your no be no." The Lord wants his children to tell the truth.
This statement is found in his teaching that we ought not swear. His point is simple. If you constantly and consistently tell the truth, then people will have no reason to question you. When you speak, others will know that they are hearing the truth.
Why is telling the truth so important? In the first place, the Bible refers to Jesus as, "the truth." "The truth" is a person. He is God’s Son. He is God in the flesh. And, "The truth will set you free." When we know and follow the truth, we are indeed going in the way God has chosen for us.
I want to be careful to tell the truth. This certainly includes, but is not limited to, those times when I am preaching and teaching. I want to be trustworthy, just as our Lord is trustworthy. I want to be known as a man of integrity. I pray that will be true for each of us.
And the next time you see me ask me about the last fish I caught, I’ve got a photo.