Truthfulness. 02/09/14 (Morning thought)

Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

This passage of scripture enjoins the cultivation of truthfulness as a way of life for all people. Falsehood that is practiced in speaking, thinking, or in one's actions constitutes a violation of the law of God, and should be avoided at all times and in all situations. One of the common manifestations of this sin is that of exaggeration. Individuals often exaggerate facts in order to give a positive or negative impression. Some folks exaggerate their income in order to qualify for a loan. Some companies exaggerate the performance of their products in order to increase sales. Some doctors  and medical practitioners exaggerate the condition of their patients in order to charge an exorbitant price. Some car dealers instruct their auto technicians to magnify existing problems on customer's vehicles, and some even charge for work that was never done. All of these variations of falsehoods and fraud constitute an epidemic of epic proportions. Indeed, lying has become so ingrained in modern society, that it has become acceptable as a way of doing normal business.

However the Bible calls us to a much higher standard, and as Christians, we should order our steps according to the principles of righteousness as outlined in God's word. Last year the U.S government lost several billion dollars due to fraudulent tax returns. And this year those figures are expected to increase. As Christians there will be strong temptations to either evade paying our taxes, or to file "exaggerated tax returns" for the sake of monetary gain. However the Bible, as always, lays out the principles which should govern our actions on these issues. Let's read:

Romans 13:6  For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.  7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.  8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

When the Bible says "owe no man anything", it is also referring to the Internal Revenue Service, for the principle must be applied across the board, in every transaction, whether it be on a personal level, or whether it be with the IRS. Therefore as children of the Heavenly King, let us choose good over evil, light over darkness, and truth instead of error. Let it never be said of us that we participated in any way in filing exaggerated or fraudulent tax returns. Those "dependents" who exist only in an imaginary world should not be claimed for, and every effort should be made to pay our just dues to the government in a timely manner, that the name of Christ suffer no reproach on account of a wrong course of action on our part. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. God bless!