To you is truth absolute or is it something you can debate or negotiate or manipulate? To you is there such thing as absolute truth? Where can you go for a source of such truth? What would it take for such a truth to exist? If you had the source and you knew it existed then would you accept it and receive it?
What about the law? Do you think the laws apply to everyone? Does it matter the type of law? Does it matter who the author of the law is? Does it matter where and when it was written? Do you think the law should be consistently applied? Let’s consider types of laws and how some of them you have or get a choice and others that were created by people tend to be able to be adjusted based on the lessons learned after they are put into place. How about the law of gravity? Non-negotiable right? How about the laws of thermodynamics? There are certain things God put into motion when He created the universe and those aren’t really negotiable, they just are. The interesting thing is that there are many things that people keep trying to figure out or dig deeper into and are able to find more specifics or precisions about these facts, behaviors, and observations. Now, what about laws about how we should live our lives? Ever noticed how laws based on biblical principles seem to work out better than others? Ever noticed how laws made up by people for their special interests tend to come with backlash or a need to iterate and tweak and adjust because they are based on a temporary point of view compared to one that is eternal? Ever noticed how those types of laws depending on people in power’s point of view or political lean can impact generations to come? Ever noticed how some of them have become slippery slopes and challenges? Ever noticed how some have become uphill battles to try and fix or solve? Ever found that some laws or the application of some laws don’t seem to be consistent? It almost seems like people are using different versions or interpretations of the truth? Shouldn’t the laws be clear enough that no interpretation is required but rather simply applied to the appropriate situations?
So is true truth? Is false a lie? dishonesty? fiction?
Can absolute truth exist? Where does it come from? Who defined it? Can you find it? Will you believe it? Will you trust it? Will you choose to live it?
The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 17th
The Danger of Situational Ethics
MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:
‘But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.’Matthew 5:37
Interesting right? Are you ready to live the truth with integrity? Are you ready to live a life that is above average? Are you ready to live a life that raises the bar? Let’s check out the context for the above and expand on it using the Amplified version:
‘ “Again, you have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not make false vows, but you shall fulfill your vows to the Lord [as a religious duty].’ But I say to you, do not make an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God; or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you are not able to make a single hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’ [a firm yes or no]; anything more than that comes from the evil one. ‘Matthew 5:33-37
Let’s expand a bit more and see how this was a part of Jesus raising the bar on how we should be living our personal relationships. Let’s take hold of how we should live our lives to a higher set of standards! Let’s consider in our interactions today how we can step up and step out to make this world a better place through responding from an absolute truth connected to love!
‘ “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘Whoever murders shall be guilty before the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who continues to be angry with his brother or harbors malice against him shall be guilty before the court; and whoever speaks [contemptuously and insultingly] to his brother, ‘Raca (You empty-headed idiot)!’ shall be guilty before the supreme court (Sanhedrin); and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of the fiery hell. So if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and while there you remember that your brother has something [such as a grievance or legitimate complaint] against you, leave your offering there at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come and present your offering. Come to terms quickly [at the earliest opportunity] with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way [to court] , so that your opponent does not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you are thrown into prison. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid the last cent.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who [so much as] looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you stumble and leads you to sin, tear it out and throw it away [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble and leads you to sin, cut it off and throw it away [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
“It has also been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife is to give her a certificate of divorce’; but I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except on grounds of sexual immorality, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who has been divorced commits adultery.
“Again, you have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not make false vows, but you shall fulfill your vows to the Lord [as a religious duty].’ But I say to you, do not make an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God; or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you are not able to make a single hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’ [a firm yes or no]; anything more than that comes from the evil one.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth [punishment that fits the offense].’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person [who insults you or violates your rights]; but whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other toward him also [simply ignore insignificant insults or trivial losses and do not bother to retaliate—maintain your dignity, your self-respect, your poise]. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also [for the Lord repays the offender]. And whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor (fellow man) and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]. For if you love [only] those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? And if you greet only your brothers [wishing them God’s blessing and peace], what more [than others] are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles [who do not know the Lord] do that? You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.‘Matthew 5:21-48
POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
- Want to succeed?
- Want to get ahead?
- Short answer is probably yes and that is ok, the key is to make sure we get there the right way!
- Don’t take unethical shortcuts!
- Be it business or personal relationships we need to be truthful rather than trying to tell them what we think they want to hear in order to close the deal!
- We need to be truthful rather than trying to tell them what we think they want to hear in order to get a promotion!
- We need to be truthful rather than trying to tell them what we think they want to hear in order to be or feel appreciated by our spouse!
- We need to be truthful rather than trying to tell them what we think they want to hear in order to get our kids to behave!
- We need to be truthful rather than trying to tell them what we think they want to hear in order to impress our friends!
- We need to live with integrity rather than trying to manipulate people by telling them what they want to hear!
- Consider Jesus’s words above and how He didn’t dig deep into the way to live, He just spoke rather than trying to rationalize it!
- Manipulation comes from the pit of hell!
- Will you get connected with Jesus in order to have the strength and courage to speak the truth?
- To speak it in love not obnoxious nor beligerent!
- To speak the truth simply with clarity and grace!
- So let’s choose to fight against the temptations to exaggerate to impress!
- Let’s choose to fight against the tempations to withhold information in order to protect ourselves!
- Let’s be truth tellers!
- Let’s tell what happened!
- Let’s decide to not be people who shade the truth but speak the truth!
- Let’s decide to please Jesus by being truth tellers rather than trying to please people and shade the truth!
- Let’s choose to follow Christ next time we are tempted rather than the devil’s cunning mischief!
- Let’s let our Yes be yes and our No be no.
DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
- What are some common situations in which you are tempted to share the truth to manipulate people’s responses to you?
- What would it do for your self-esteem and your walk with God to choose the simple truth?
QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
“It’s amazing what happens when you recognize your good qualities, accept responsibility for your future, and take positive action to make that future even brighter.”— Zig Ziglar
Today’s reading from Tanakh:
So where are you at? Are you ready to make your future better? Are you ready to make your future brighter? Are you ready to grab hold of the truth, a truth that will set you free? Are you ready to be different from the ways of the world? Are you ready to raise the bar to make your life and the lives of all those around you better? Are you ready to live by the example of how things should be? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life today? Are you ready to get started? Let’s pray:
Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?
Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?
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