We Lose our Credibility with Others When We Exaggerate

Image    One common lapse of integrity among Christians is the habit of exaggeration. If we are to be persons of integrity, others must be able to trust what we say, no questions asked. Every statement that comes from our mouths must be true. Our “yes” must be “yes,” and our “no” must be “no” (Matthew 5:37). If we habitually exaggerate, we lose our credibility, casting a shadow on God’s reputation. Chronic exaggeration isn’t unusual for us. We’ve all done it. Some Christians even use the humorous phrase “evangelistically speaking” to refer to our common practice of inflating numbers to make them more impressive! Guarding against exaggeration is not easy, but we must make every effort. Our personal credibility and the reputation of God are at stake.

The God we praise can be taken at His Word, and so should we: “Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God…Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise… For the LORD is good (Psalm 100:1-5).

Pray the confession to God to keep your life free from sin and in fellowship with Him: “Forgive us, Lord, when we are unmindful of You, the Rock who begot us, and have forgotten You, the God who fathered us” (personalized from Deuteronomy 32:18).

Confess the sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind now. Turn your life over to God, let His will be done, and voice your affirmation of who Christ is: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgement, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24).

As you make your requests know to the Lord, include:

  • Truthful speech,
  • New friends to disciple,
  • Opportunities to share your faith.

Now offer this closing prayer to the Lord: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor than silver and gold (Proverbs 22:1).

“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:33-37). 

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker” (Psalm 95:6).

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