How do you spot an honest person?
How do you know that Christ is in someone's heart or not?
Why is that important to know?
Being able to THINK CLEARLY is imperative in order to function well in the world. To do so we need correct, healthy & present-day information about how the world really works, what is positive about ourselves, as well as universal spiritual truths about Higher Power & what it means to be human. *
For me it's simple...if you are living like Christ as best you can...you are able to be trusted.
Oh wait, back to one of the first questions...how do you know?
I went about looking to see what the internet had to say
How to tell if Someone is being honest via ehow
Life Hackery had some interesting pointers? on what not to look for and what to do about it
How to be honest with yourself by WikiHow
And the article that brought me here...from Reader's Digest. Liar, Liar.
So I decided to try what I know to be a more solid alternative.
What does the Bible have to offer us about being honest, how to trust and be trustworthy, and how to project honesty as a positive personality attribute to pass on?
For me the first place to look s the book of Sirach (actual text here), which is only contained in the Apocrypha and some selected versions of the Bible mainly dealing with Catholic beliefs. I was taught in Catholic school early in my life, and my grandmother read to me from The New American Bible which I picked up just about 5 years ago now and began again my journey.
The book of Sirach (explaination of Sirach's contents here) has many verses of wisdom concerning associates, friends, proper conduct as a holy man, and really does a lot of addressing the fundamentals of basic living in a more Godly way. I like it. Simple easy to follow.
The first step to finding honest and trusting people is to be one yourself. Yikes!
"So I died to the law. I stopped trying to meet all its requirements, so that I may live for God. My old self be crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me. So I live by trusting in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless."
Here is a story about what God can accomplish in the heart of a once angry man:
Moses was an Israelite born at a time when Egypt was avery powerful nation. Moses' mother felt fear for her son and sent him floating in the river, praying to God that he be safe and cared for. An Egyptian princess found him and cared for him as part of their "family". Moses knew he was an Israelite and that his people were slaves to the Egyptians. He was angered one day while watching one of his own people be beat. He was so angry that he killed the Egyptian man, buried him the desert and fled. God appeared to Moses several times and convinced him to have faith, to trust, and to go to Egypt to free the Hebrew people. Moses was afraid and hesitant to believe but God insisted. After plagues and tests of will, pharoah agreed to let the Israelites go free. He was not a faithful man and changed his mind after the Israelites were gone. He sent his army after them. As Moses was setting up camp with thousands and thousands of people, their backs to the Red Sea, the Israelites questioned their safety even after being freed from slavery by the Lord himself. Moses was afraid too but he spoke to God on behalf of his people and was told to counsel the Israelites to be calm and trust that God will deliver them from the Egyptians. This was before he asked Moses to raise his staff and part the Red Sea a path for the Israelites to cross. And when they were safe the waters flowed again killing the Egyptians chasing them. What an amazing testimony! If God can change the heart of an angry young man who had killed a man out of rage, what can he do for yours? He made it possible for Moses to lead people, to perform miraculous wonders, and to grow humble and faithful himself. Moses was never allowed into the Promised Land for his lack of faith. He was given a long life and promise for his ancestors to flourish, but he was held accountable for his lack of faith.
Proverbs is full of little short poem type sayings that give us a lot of guidance for honest and truthfulness.
12:14 Wise Words bring Many benefits and hard work brings rewards.
12:19 Truthful Words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed.
12:21 No harm comes to the Godly but he wicked have their fill of trouble.
Proverbs 3...READ IT ALL
(it talks about how to trust in God wisely)
The book of Wisdom, also in the Apocropha, is another great place to find ways to safeguard yourself and those you love from falling prey to needless burden.
Here it is folks...sinful behavior, which you can find testimony for everywhere, leads to more guilt and shame for you to carry...hence why we are asked to live every day with as little as possible. It makes for happier healthier us' and people more able to hear God's plans. Which are essentially your plans too. It's what you were designed for...
And since God wants us to understand how much he loves us...He gave up His son to the law and to a cruel punishment to show us all that our sins, which we all have, can be cleansed and a clean slate made if we believe and follow. That is the part that people forget. That Chistians forget. It is about walking not talking, but sharing is good.
Albert Lee writes, "We cannot finish the Christian race on our own. We have to do so by depending on Jesus living in us." ***
This is saying I will give up my struggle for control and I will allow YOU to have my heart for your desire my God. Someone truly dedicated to this kind of thinking and able to allow this kind of cleansing of the heart is someone you can trust.
There is nothing more precious than each and every one of our souls. Jesus, God's human form here on earth, was willing to live a very short and meaningful life here, one that had much heartache and in the end much pain. He did this to teach us how to live and to show us that God is willing to forgive our sins by leading us to not make more. It requires believing and following. And for a kicker...get this. You get to live on after your earthly body is gone. That is where the true value lies. In the stress free, worry free, hate free, body free existance of your soul reunited with God, Jesus, and all the other believers. Pretty cool.
If you stop making up your own rules and live as Jesus exemplifies and truly asks of us...we can be darned sure that we will be doing the right thing and that comes with reward. Not monetary gain, although wealth can be part of your life, but being provided for, being given wisdom to get through difficult times, be reminded through simple interaction that we are not alone, and be loved unconditionally.
And then the flood of expectations and assumptions about rules and fun and stress and life and the thousand other excuses people use to say...I'd rather not do that kind of work.
It is not an easy road to walk...carrying your load and share. But faith is the most rewarding gift man has been offered. When nothing else can stop the lonely, the empty, the sad, the darkness, the pain, the feeling of shame, inadequacy, and temptation...God will fill you up more and more and help you through any and all of the tasks and trials you face...IF YOU WOULD ONLY ASK.
I am here. Breathing the word of God as a woman, as a disciple, as a friend.
A resource I do find helpful to address subjects such as these...
They have a great two part article about trust and learning to trust again.