Just You and God
In the 1980s it came to the attention of the IRS that large numbers of taxpayers were claiming unauthorized dependents. Some claims were ridiculous (such as Fluffy, who probably had four legs), and some were understandable (divorced spouses both claiming their children). In 1986, Congress passed a law requiring taxpayers to list their dependent children's Social Security numbers. When the returns came in the following April, seven million dependents had disappeared.
Challenging taxpayers to verify their claims generated nearly $3 billion in additional tax revenue just in the first year. It has been said that a gentleman is one who uses the butter knife when he is alone. Who are you when no one is looking? Some people would never lie to a friend but don't hesitate to cheat an employer or the government. Yet dishonesty in one area of life leads to dishonesty in other areas.
It's easy to slip into dishonest living when we're convinced we won't get caught. But just as dishonesty hurts our earthly relationships, so it hurts our relationship with God. He is a loving Father who wants a genuine relationship with his children. A key part of our relationship with him, as in any relationship, is to be true in our words, thoughts, and actions.
Forgive me for my "secret" dishonesty, Lord. Help me have integrity whether I'm with others or alone with you.
Dr. Gary Chapman is the beloved best-selling author of The Five Love Languages and Love as a Way of Life. For more information, click here.