Be True to Yourself

What is the danger of making promises to people or God? How do we unknowingly at times, deceive others and let others deceive us? How do we shield ourselves from deception? How do we discern deception in us and others?

Overview

Matt 5:21-26, Matt 18:15-17, Luke 12:57-59, John 17:20-23Matt 5:33-37

 Be:

  • Straightforward
  • Shrewd
  • Sensitive to the Spirit

Do not:

  • Deceive others
  • Let others deceive you
  • Deceive yourself

Key Verses

Matt 5:33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one..

Be Straightforward

Matthew 5:33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all:

Do not Deceive others

Oaths are inherently deceptive. They:

  • Base situations out of our control on objects out of our control.
  • Negate the plain truth by appearing to add or take away from it

Deception is:

  • Window dressing
  • Adding or subtracting from the truth.
  • Avoiding facts or complete facts
  • Diversion, etc

Be straightforward

In what ways do we deceive others

  • Consciously?
  • Unconsciously?

Exaggerating facts, pretending to approve or smile in front of others, saying words we do not mean, etc. – are some common examples.

Be Shrewd

Matthew 5:34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.

Be shrewd

All four levels:

  • Heaven
  • Earth
  • Jerusalem
  • Our head

Are not in our or anyone else’ control.

Be Sensitive to the Spirit

Matthew 5:37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Be true to every:

  • word you speak
  • action

Test it before God

Do not Deceive yourself

Anything else is

  • falling prey to Satan, the father of lies.
  • Fooling ourself that Satan’s way is better than God’s way.

In a world seething in “fakeness” how can we stand true? What are the challenges?

Discussion

1.Trace how deceiving others starts with deceiving ourself. How can we free ourself from the trap?

2.What are the risks in standing true? What are the advantages? Share experiences.

3.How does standing true help us in realizing our purpose and potential? Share.

References

1.Study by Dr. Preeti Shinde

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