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Then Job gave a feast for his brothers and sisters and for his old friends. They expressed their sorrow for the suffering the Lord had brought on him, and they each gave Job some silver and a gold ring. Job 42:11 (CEV)

A friend of mine was in a horrific accident a few years ago. Before the accident John (not his real name) was known for his temper. When things were going well he was a friendly cordial business man in our small town. When things weren’t going well everyone knew to stay out of his way. The problem escalated when John had been drinking. He wasn’t just an angry man, he was (by his own admission) and angry alcoholic.

As a result of his accident, John lost both of his legs. He was in a medically induced coma for several weeks to allow the brain and body to heal properly. When the day came to wake him up, everyone was ready for the worst. It didn’t happen. John woke up fully accepting the news of his legs and with a completely different personality. John also woke up completely surrendered to Jesus Christ.

John tells me that he had accepted Christ over 15 years earlier, but had chosen to live his own way. He was never happy. Guilt was a part of his life. Misery was temporarily dulled by chemicals but the chemicals always demanded more.

John is quick to tell anyone that will listen that the accident that took his legs was no accident at all. It was God’s way of bringing him to complete surrender to him. He takes full responsibility for his actions.

When horrible things happen to you or to others, how do you respond? Do you become bitter? Do you become angry? Do you play your entire deck of blame game cards? Sometimes things happen in our lives that we can point to as direct consequences of our actions. Other times, things happen in our lives for no apparent reason. How we respond in either situation tells us what our character is like.

John will tell you he is suffering the consequences of sin. Job was a man in the Bible who suffered terribly as well. He lost his children, his wealth and his health. Yet he remained faithful to God. God never explained to Job why he allowed those things to happen, but when his time of testing was over he was completely restored. Once restored Job held a great party for all his family and friends. He wasn’t bitter about his losses. He wasn’t angry over unwarranted pain and suffering. He was thankful to a God who is both mysterious and faithful. When God allows something unjust or justified to happen to us we can become angry, we can become bitter or we can endure and then celebrate.

PRAYER: Father God, when I’m honest with myself I have to admit that many of my struggles are my own doing and I deserve what I get. Other times I question your actions. Show me how I can live a life of celebration based on who you are, not on what I want. Amen.


“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. Luke 16:10

Jesus tells the story of a man who was caught cheating by his employer. As a result of the dishonesty the man was informed that he would lose his job. Before he was fired he went to all the people that owed his boss money and gave them huge discounts. While this further cheated his boss, it made the man many friends. We aren’t told in the story, but no doubt these people were willing to help the dishonest person because he helped them.

The lesson from this story is that honesty isn’t dependent on the amount entrusted but on the sense of responsibility a person has to those who trust him. The man in the story may have been considered generous by those he gave discounts to, but in reality, he wasn’t concerned in the least about their well-being. He was really only concerned about himself.

Our view of ourselves has a huge part to play on whether we are honest or dishonest. Many times we will lie to cover up our own mistakes, choosing to blame others instead of accepting the responsibility. Other times we may lie to make ourselves look better. We don’t want to admit we are weak, so we lie to make ourselves look better than someone else.

Dishonesty at any level destroys our entire reputation. If I lie about a little thing, then I most likely will lie about bigger things as well. On small amount of dirt in a clear glass of water taints the whole glass and makes it undrinkable. In the same way one little lie, on little act of deception tarnishes our entire character.

As Christ-followers each of us is responsible for making sure we are men and women of integrity and trust. There is no place in our lives for any action that has it’s basis on avoiding responsibility for our actions or making others look bad for our own benefit.

Grace teaches us that we are, in some senses, completely helpless to live a life of purity and perfection. There will be times when we fail in our attempt to be honest. There may be times when our actions are misunderstood as being malicious when they are not. Those are the times we can come to our Savior, Jesus Christ, for forgiveness, and strength to continue on.

Start with the small things. As you learn to trust Him for strength in the small areas of your weakness you will find it easier to tackle the larger areas where you tend to be dishonest. Jesus didn’t come to condemn liars. He came to empower them to be honest.

PRAYER: Father you know that I tend to be dishonest in some of the things I say. I ask that you would forgive me for those times. Empower me by your Spirit to be willing to accept responsibility for my actions. Enable me to be a person of integrity for your sake. Amen.

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