God's word in today's world

True worthy behaviour

The second part of verse 7 tells us about another characteristic that we as Christians should show in our lives: 7And here you yourself must be an example to them of good deeds of every kind. Let everything you do reflect your love of the truth and the fact that you are in dead earnest about it.

What does being “dead earnest” mean? I thought about this for a long time. The dictionary explanation of “showing sincere and intense conviction” makes it somewhat clearer. Our behaviour must show our “love of the truth” and we must be sincerely convinced of the truth.

The SABC 8 book haunts me. It’s terrifying to see how corrupt people can be. They spent millions of government money on themselves. They gave themselves millions in bonuses. I wonder how a corrupt person decides how many zeros to add?

How do such crooks sleep at night? And I realised with a shock: They sleep well, because they’ve deceived themselves to such an extent that they don’t think it’s wrong. They actually argue that they deserve it. They’ve worked hard for it and that’s why they make out those big cheques to themselves. Ha! There’s no love of the truth, no sincere conviction in this kind of behaviour.

This could be an extreme form of conviction failure.

Sometimes we deceive ourselves too and without realising it, we have no sense of the truth or conviction.

I visited my pal in the south of Namibia and he told me how he nearly succumbed to self-deceit and had truth slipped out the back door. You see, Namibian famers may not feed hormones to their animals. It’s natural feed all the way (that’s what makes Namibian meat taste so good).

But the Namibians compete with the South African farmers who may feed hormones. So, my friend argued, the sheep are going to South Africa anyway. The South Africans anyway eat the hormones of their own sheep. Then it won’t matter if they also eat Namibian sheep with hormones.

My friend ordered the syringes from Upington.

That night he had a dream. He was sitting with his headmaster. He looked down and saw spots all over his shirt. He ran to his room to look for a clean shirt, but couldn’t find one. He searched everywhere. And then he woke up and realised that it was not God’s will to inject the hormones.

He immediately cancelled his order.

You see, that is conviction. Behaviour without corruption. Behaviour that can happen out in the open. No need to hide anything.

We so easily deceive ourselves and convince ourselves to do things that are not completely above board.

Let us try to live right and in everything act with conviction so that God’s truth always wins.

Titus 2:6-8

Is all of your behaviour worthy?
Where’s the problem?
Where can you act differently?

Heavenly Father, please help me to distinguish between right and wrong and not to simply justify everything as grey areas. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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