The Credibility Gap

credibility gap

 

There was a time in our homes, businesses, churches, and society at large when people declared that their word was their bond. Honesty, integrity and credibility were the norm, not character traits exhibited by only a few. Contracts were concluded with a handshake, not with reams of fine print that serve to manipulate and provide hidden methods of escape from the very things stated in them.

THE BOND

In time past, attorneys were most often engaged in government, corporate, and real estate law. They also provided criminal defense and civil services to those who needed them. The divorce rate was so low that practicing family law alone was not profitable. Today it seems that the majority of lawyers are engaged either in representing those who are filing lawsuits or defending those who are being sued, writing ironclad contracts, or finding ways to shatter the supposed ironclad words of others. The era of “my word is my bond” has been relegated to the ash heap of history.

Integrity and honesty were were under assault from the religious and political leaders of Jesus’ day. When challenged by the religious authorities, He made a compelling observation. “For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me!” (John 8:44-45)

THE SPRIT OF TRUTH

It is not natural for those who have been born again to lie. Although those in the world are of their father the devil and often lie without hesitation, believers should not live this way. We are disciples of Jesus Christ, and children of the Most High God. We are living hosts to the Spirit of God, of whom Jesus spoke in John 16:13 “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth…” The truth resides in us, and we should always represent the Father well by speaking the truth. Our word should still be our bond, as stated in Psalm 15:1+4 “Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?…Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord, and keep their promises even when it hurts.”

Our society needs men and women of integrity and honesty in order to survive the challenging times in which we live. The “credibility gap” (a term describing the space between rhetoric and the truth in politics) has widened to Grand Canyon proportions. I am amazed at how some of our current leaders and candidates for office lie to the public and continue to lie even when directly confronted with the truth. It is inconceivable that most of the news media cover up for the liars and hide the truth, yet they do so on a daily basis. Although shocked by the deeds of these dissemblers, I am not surprised. They lie as a matter of course for this reason: the truth is not in them. To reprise John 8:44 “For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him.”

STOP THE LYING

While we understand the source of the lies and cover-ups, we should never find them acceptable . Satan’s children will always lie, often without conviction. The world has a term for those who tell untruths without remorse. They call it pathological. We know it to be demoniacal. Anyone call tell a lie, repent, receive forgiveness from God and stop lying. They are then not identified as liars. Those who continue to lie place their eternity in jeopardy , for the Bible tells us “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Rev 21:8)

How do we deal with those who lie and cover up the truth? Do we allow them to continue unchallenged, or should we confront them? God expects all believers to ” not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ,” (Eph 4:14-15) We must expose falsehood by speaking the truth, and not allow ourselves to be deceived. It is unacceptable for us to lie to each other, and we should hold public officials, candidates, and the news media to the same standard. They should stop the lies and acknowledge the truth. Many will not, but perhaps some will. Let us pray for a return to integrity and honesty among our leaders and our people. Let us pray for revival in our land. Let us support the truth, and let our light shine! “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (John 1:5)

Ramon Duvall

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