November 15
Doomed to drudgery
Acts 5
"... 'How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord?' ..." (v.9)

The seventh fruit of the Spirit -- faithfulness -- is often sadly lacking in God's children. There are professing Christians who seem to think that things like tax evasion or making telephone calls from their office without permission are issues that have no direct bearing on their Christian life.
 
A minister watched a woman make a long-distance call from an airport pay-phone. Afterwards she told him: "I made a person-to-person call to myself at home and of course was told I was not there. This let my family know that I had arrived safely and there was no need to pay for the call, as I didn't get through to myself." She thought she was clever but she was just a clever fool, for calling herself up in this way just started a series of calls to herself on the inside of herself -- calls that would lead to even more serious moral violations. She sold herself -- cheap.
 
In Madras in India they tell the story of a farmer who, when selling milk to his customers, had to drive his cow and its calf from door to door. Why did he have to trudge in the hot sun day after day? There was a simple reason -- he could not be trusted. The housewives knew that he would water down the milk and so they made him milk the cow in front of their eyes. His dishonesty doomed him to drudgery. Dishonesty always does this. It may not bring drudgery on the outside but it most certainly brings drudgery on the inside. The worst thing about dishonesty is to be the person who is dishonest.
 
Father, thank You for reminding me that no dishonesty is worth the price I will have to pay for it -- inner conflict and unhappiness. Help me to be honest with You and also with myself. Amen.

For Further Study
1. What did Jesus say of the Pharisees?
2. What is the Lord's delight?