Honesty and the simple exercise of telling the truth seem to be at a premium in the days in which we live. We read of corporate greed in the market place and of business leaders rewarding themselves with exorbitant bonus levels bringing upon themselves negative reputations of greed etc. Multi-nationals are often accused of tax avoidance and failing to pay the right levels of tax in the countries in which they trade. As I write, the news media in America is dominated by the Senate and Congressional hearings that are being conducted as they hear accusations made against a Senior Judge who has been nominated by President Trump to be a life long member of the Supreme Court. Such hearings are replete with salacious rumour and accusation. There seems little prospect of getting to the actual truth, and all of this played out before a global T.V. audience!
The failure to establish the truth and the rank dishonesty on display reminds me of the story of a dentist who sought to be truthful with his patients as to the exact nature of their treatment. He sought to model deep candour:-
‘HE BENT OVER THE PATIENT WITH A HYPODERMIC NEEDLE IN HIS HAND: YOU MIGHT FEEL A LITTLE STING. ON THE OTHER HAND, IT MIGHT FEEL AS THOUGH YOU HAVE BEEN KICKED IN THE MOUTH BY A MULE’!
Jesus at all times sought to portray honesty and integrity. On one occasion He was asked about paying tax, a question that was designed to trick Him. He asked for a coin, He then asked whose inscription was upon the coin. The people answered; ‘Caesar’s’, to which Jesus replied in response to the paying of tax; ‘RENDER TO CAESAR THE THINGS WHICH ARE CAESAR’S, AND TO GOD THE THINGS WHICH ARE GOD’S’! The people marvelled at His wisdom!
Honesty and integrity should be at all times qualities modelled by those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. This is very much a part of the call made by Jesus to His followers to act as ‘SALT AND LIGHT’ in the midst of a confused and uncertain world.