When I started working as a cashier in a bank, one day a client came to make a deposit of ten thousand dollars. When I had counted them, I verified that each of them were 100-dollar bills; With a smile I gave him his receipt and I said goodbye, wishing him a good day. At the end of the day, counting the tickets again to be able to close the cash desk, I discovered that one of the 100-dollar bills that this man had given me was false … I couldn’t believe what was happening to me.
Why had this man cheated me with a fake bill? How many people knew about it and had not done anything until the bill came into my hands?
The fake bill was lying useless in my box. Telling the truth meant that I need to sacrifice part of my salary, and having less money for my expenses. I had no choice. Could I sacrifice telling the truth without causing harm to anyone? Could someone other than myself be responsible? Why had no one destroyed the fake bill before it reached my hands? The answer is very simple: Because nobody was willing to sacrifice one hundred dollars of their salary to tell the truth.
Some human criterias might make us believe that silence is not the same as concealing, that pretending is not the same as lying, that hiding is not the same as betraying. Some might even think that, if we keep quiet, we are not hurting anyone. Can that be true? How much are we willing to sacrifice in favor of our own convenience?
Distinguishing between truth and error
We encounter different critical situations throughout our lives, but can we differentiate between what is right and what is wrong? Do we know what is right and just? How much of what we believe is right, can really destroy someone else’s life? “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts.” (Proverbs 21:2)
The man in his heart can believe that he is just and even good, but we must understand what our duty is in the light of the truth.
Certainly, truth is immortal. Several of the principles and values that men have adopted for the foundation of governments and laws, have been taken from the Divine principles given to Moses at Sinai – which clearly reflect the character of their creator, of God.
Dangers and confusion
Although we often are able to distinguish between good and evil, sometimes we are wrong. How can that be? Well, we have all sinned and “fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). It is because of this that our mind and conscience are corrupted.
The world tells us:
“Listen to your heart”, “This may be the truth for you, but for another person the truth can be something else.”
The Bible says that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) As you can see, we cannot trust our conscience or our hearts!
The truth is not relative! The Bible tells us what the truth really is:
“Your word is truth” (John 17:17). It also says that Jesus is the truth (John 14:6).
Then, to understand truth, we need to go to the source of truth, that is, to God himself and to His Word that “endures forever” (1 Peter 1:25).
The truth became flesh
It was the same God who became one of us so that by His example, He showed us that, even if the heavens fall, it is possible to remain faithful to those principles. With His life, Jesus proved that it is possible to resist and overcome evil – Jesus “committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth” (1 Peter 2:22-23). The one who never got his hands dirty wasn’t Pilate, it was Jesus who never allowed the truth to be sacrificed. Jesus showed that man can overcome temptation if he surrenders his will to God and allows himself to be guided by His Holy Spirit. He was proving by His life that He did not allow Himself to be subjected to the temptations of satan, nor did He yield to the provocations of men so that not one jot or tittle of truth was sacrificed because of evil.
What would have happened if Jesus had failed as a man? If Jesus, during His life on earth, had compromised only a small point of truth, if a single tittle had been changed in the divine principles, if even a silence had been accepted in favor of a lie, in order to be accepted among those who did not want truth to be proclaimed, then the life and mission of Jesus would have failed. Satan would have come out victorious saying that it is impossible for peace to exist without a pinch of injustice, that there is integrity without a piece of corruption, that love can’t exist without hypocrisy, that there can be no order without confusion, no faithfulness without betrayal, no purity without immorality. The Divine principles would look like they were betraying to themselves, to accommodate evil and error. If Jesus had failed in His mission, God Himself would have had to renounce His own principles, because not even the Son of God in that case could fulfill them. Evil would have taken over life, and life itself could no longer exist.
Who shall we obey?
It is time for us to ask ourselves: Who should we obey? God? A human being? Or our own deceptive hearts? To whom is our conscience due?
It is God Himself who teaches us that we can live in harmony with His divine principles, if we allow the Holy Spirit to reign in our hearts. Only the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, who works through a powerful faith, can enable man to stand firm in truth and justice, only the Holy Spirit can empower us to resist evil. “Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7). Each and one of us must give our lives to God, because we can do nothing by ourselves. If we accept the light that comes from God, the word and example of Jesus will be light and strength to the heart of man. If we follow and trust Him, we will not be alone, He will never allow that we perish.
With the help of God, man can distinguish what truth is. Those who accept Jesus and hear the voice of the Holy Spirit that cries in their hearts, can stand firm in the truth and will not allow the Divine principles to be sacrificed. This is the evidence of our character as disciples of Jesus. “Resist him [the devil], steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” (1 Peter 5:9).
Buy the truth!
Ten years ago, one hundred dollars was the price I had to pay to tell the truth. I told it immediately to my boss, and the bill was registered and sent to the national reserve bank for destruction.
Every day men and women are being tested, in small and big trials, in hard and big sacrifices. But the sacrifice that we should not allow ourselves to do is to sell the truth, submitting to evil, casting down the divine principles that Jesus with His life and death came to restore.
“Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” (Proverbs 23:23)
“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” (Revelation 3:21)
How much of what Jesus did NOT sacrifice, are you willing to sacrifice?
By Susan Aicart