Truthfully, brothers and sisters, when did it become so easy to lie?
“I am praying for you” (but have you been . . . really?).
“I’m running late because there was traffic” (or maybe you just got a late start).
“I am going to do that right away” (well . . . perhaps).
I recently called our local butcher shop and ordered a 3-pound tomahawk steak for a family celebration dinner, but before I could pick it up, a friend who knew of the celebration plans called to tell me she picked up a standing rib roast for me. I knew I needed to call the butcher to cancel my order. My first inclination was to lie—to tell her I was sick and couldn’t make it . . . or perhaps just not to show up at all. Thankfully, the angel on my shoulder (the Holy Spirit) quickly reminded me lying was not an option. I called Tami at the butcher shop and told her the truth; I know she wasn’t happy about it, but seeking to please people is never a reason to lie.
If we slip into telling “small” (some might say “innocent”) lies, it can quickly spiral into a habit of telling big lies. The future for liars is easily mapped out for us: small lies lead to big lies which lead to destroyed relationships. God wants us to speak truth in everything and in every moment. There is never a good reason to lie.
Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). When we live in God’s truth, believe his word to be true, and follow the outline he set forth for us, we are sheltered from the consequences of sinfulness.
I am protected when I choose God’s way. He tells his followers to speak truth and to live in his truth. God, our Father, does not want us to live the painful life of a liar. Instead, he wants the opposite. (And don’t forget, the devil also is a father—“he is . . . the father of lies” [John 8:44].)
“O Lord. May your mercy and your truth always protect me” (Psalm 40:11, GOD’S WORD Translation). Let’s choose to speak truth at every opportunity. Let’s study God’s Word and measure all of our choices against it.
Christians should want to help others come to know Jesus and love Jesus. We should want to see our friends and acquaintances be baptized and gain the confidence of eternal life in Heaven. But it is impossible to set a good example for Christ when we are known as liars. And, truth be told, lying is just one way Christians can sully the name of our Savior.
Years ago I was driving on the freeway and was cut off by a speeding blue Nissan. In that split second, I could easily read every word on the SUV’s bumper stickers. By the way, one of stickers was an ichthys, a “Jesus fish”! How often are we bad examples of Jesus? Sometimes we pursue life so passionately we forget people around us are watching how we act.
I believe people are watching the church—and all the people who claim Jesus as their Savior—more closely than ever. They are looking to see how we are handling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, economic distress, and racial injustice. People who deny Jesus, or who do not know him, are keeping their eyes on those who claim Jesus as their King.
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, “[H]uman beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it.” Yet, people do not behave the way they think they should, and thus they break this “Law of Nature,” as Lewis called it.
Spreading God’s Word
Christians understand that we have such feelings because we are God’s creation—“knit . . . together in [our] mother’s womb” and “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13-14). We know and believe God has left his stamp on our hearts. That is why, when we hear God’s Word, it rings true. God is using his followers, the church, today to spread his Word. God’s Word also “rings true” when it is shared with those around us.
That is the church’s purpose—to spread God’s Word. The church is vibrant and living!
The church is open and meeting. The church is spreading the good news, baptizing believers, serving the community, hiring, making their loan payments, and growing. The calamity that was 2020 did not stop or break the church. COVID-19 will not shut down the church.
I know this because I know the Christian churches of the Restoration Movement well. I have served these churches my whole life, and so have some of you. As a young girl, you could find me tugging at my father’s coattails, touring churches that needed his help with funding. I have spent 26 of my 38 years touring and exploring Christian churches, and my father and his co-workers have worked diligently to find creative ways to help them take the next step. Along the way, we have built relationships with all the people that gather inside them.
Today, my dad and I work together at The Solomon Foundation, a church extension fund based out of Parker, Colorado. We help churches find loans and take investments to secure those loans. We provide people the opportunity to earn excellent interest while helping churches.
The church is growing. In December 2020 alone, The Solomon Foundation provided $32 million in funding to 14 churches.
That represents 14 churches that will grow the size of their buildings to accommodate more people who are actively seeking to find out the truth about Jesus.
This broken, sinful world needs the protection of God, whose “word is truth,” and the church is where they are going to find it. Join us in helping churches teach the truth.