If you have any ideas about taking out a home mortgage, your lender will obtain your FICO credit score to gauge your financial capability and track record for debt repayment. Your credit score doesn’t tell the lender everything, but it is a reliable way to reduce the lender’s risk. Once your credit reputation is shot, it gets really, really hard to borrow money.
There’s no rating agency for truth telling, but after a while the people with whom you associate will have a pretty good sense as to how much truth is in your words. Every time you are caught in a lie your “rating” goes down, and you have to protest and embellish and intensify your statements more and more. The more words you have to add to your basic statements, the more people will suspect that you are faking or hustling them.
Jesus has a simple solution: “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37). Simple: develop a reputation for telling the truth. Simple: Look people right in the eye without wavering and tell the truth. Simple: say it one time and then fall silent because there’s nothing more that needs to be added.
That way you never have to wonder which version of the story you’ve told. Because there is only one version.
Pastor Mark Jeske brought the good news of Jesus Christ to viewers of Time of Grace for 18 years. He is currently the senior pastor at St. Marcus Church, a thriving multicultural congregation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mark is the author of several books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics. He and his wife, Carol, have four adult children.
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