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A Powerful, Life-changing Principle

Do you lie?

Did you just now?

Telling the truth can be hard. Ask Zach Nash. At age 14, Zach won a junior PGA golf tournament. It was a highlight of his life until he discovered later that he had unknowingly played the final round with an extra club in his bag. That’s against the rules. But nobody knew. The medal was his. Zach called the director and disqualified himself.

We know lying is wrong. But do we do it anyway? It may be that it’s to ourselves that we lie most often. Do you ever say you’re going to do something only to later make excuses and not follow through? Isn’t that lying to yourself?

Your word is an odd thing. For it to be worth anything, when you give it, you must keep it. “Let your `Yes' be `Yes,' and your `No,’ ‘No’” Jesus taught (Matthew 5:37).

Nodding the head does not row the boat. If we lie to ourselves, even in small things, we callous our conscience. We get used to saying without doing. We become habitual liars. “It is better,” Solomon said, “not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.”

Be honest. How often have you said, “I’m going to lay off the junk food” only to give in a couple of days (or minutes) later? Or, “I’m going to start exercising, reading my Bible, or some other good habit” but not done that? Or how often have we said, “I quit” (some bad habit) only to start right back? Telling the truth is hard!

If we hope to succeed in making desired changes, we must have purpose (see the previous column). We must also have principles, honesty being foundational. We must have the personal integrity to do what we say.

Here’s a simple, but powerful suggestion. If you want to see change in your life, tell the truth. Even if you’re the only one who will know, keep your word. Especially if you’re the only one who will know! If you say you will do it, do it. Always!

Start small. Practice with easy commitments. Keeping promises is like a workout for your will power. Lift the little ones long enough and it becomes easier to handle the heavy ones.

Sorry, I’ve got to go. I promised to finish this on time, and I want to tell the truth.


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