Philippians 4:8 Part 3
8 Finally, brethren,
whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue,
and if there be any praise,
think on these things.
I looked up honest in the dictionary and the first thing it says it’s free of deceit. So let’s change the wording a little bit. What so ever things are free of deceit.
Have you ever talked to somebody about a certain situation only to find out later they did not tell you the whole truth only, a partial truth? Children are really good at this. When you confronted them about it, they said “Well, you didn’t ask me about that!” But you did ask them about the situation, not just about that particular aspect. I would call that being deceitful on their part.
There are a lot of ways that we can be deceitful. Withholding things that would be relevant to a conversation is deceitful. Saying something that would throw somebody off track is deceitful. Giving somebody a false hope that you might do something when in actuality you have no intention of doing that thing is deceitful. I think we’ve all been caught up in that one. We’re asked if we want to go to a particular meeting. We say maybe and we know deep within our hearts we really don’t want to be in a meeting with that particular leader. But we tell that person we will try to make it. That’s deceitful.
Now I’m not saying that we should tell the truth if it’s going to hurt someone. This is a very tricky area and we have to be careful not to hurt our fellow Christians. Truth can be told in love if God wants us to tell it. But in our thought life, we have to stay away from thoughts that are deceitful because they will come out of our mouth eventually.
So, when you are going about your daily routines, consider the thoughts that are in your mind that might be deceitful. What are you withholding from somebody else that they really should know about? Are there activities in your life that are contrary to the way you act when you’re around your church members? For years, I deceived people all the time because I had secret sin in my life and nobody knew about it except me and God. I actually figured God didn’t mind since He didn’t expose me. But eventually it was found out, and it caused real damage with my wife. I really don’t want to be in that position again.
Honest also can mean sincere, candid, frank and open. It differs from being true in the fact that this talks more about the way we present it instead of whether it’s true or not. To be honest we must be sincere. Honesty has to be shared in a loving relationship. And if we don’t approach it in the spirit of meekness and a heart of love, we are probably going to do it wrong.
Tomorrow we will talk about thinking on those things that are just.