Advertisements
RSS Feed

Tag Archives: telling the truth

Starting to Believe

If you listen, follow or watch cable news on a regular basis, you might begin to believe that the world is falling apart.  A majority of these networks blame Donald Trump for the world’s demise.  Yet, when you spend time outside in the real world, current accusations don’t appear to be as bad as initially reported.  If the media outlet you depend upon isn’t telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, who and what should you believe?

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” – Mark 9:24

In the passage above, a man approaches Jesus like a disgruntled shopper, complaining about the service he received from a couple of the disciples.  Evidently, the disciples were unable to heal this man’s son possessed by an evil spirit.  This boy was often thrown into epileptic seizures, foaming at the mouth and unable to control his own body.  Jesus attributes this failed miracle to a lack of faith.  Desperate to see his son freed from this helpless state, the man pleads with Jesus to help him overcome his unbelief.

But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe,” Mark 5:36.

In the 1992 film A Few Good Men, Jack Nicholson plays Colonel Nathan Jessup who is called to testify in court about one of the marines under his command who was killed.  During a cross examination by Tom Cruise who plays Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee a Navy defense lawyer, a heated argument ensues.  Known as”You Can’t Handle the Truth,” this scene depicts the effort and struggle to unravel truth from fiction.  When forming a belief system, this process is just as difficult, sorting through what your church, education and parents have taught you.  Meanwhile, friends, mentors and professors may be pressuring your to confirm to post-modernism or secularism humanism beliefs.

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so, Acts 17:11.

When you come to a spiritual crossroads, the best advice is to follow in the footsteps of Berea.  This first century church urged their members to test everything they heard before reaching a conclusion.  Fact checking practices entailed combing through the Bible to determine if ideas, new teaching or theories were consistent with what the apostles taught.  Sometimes information is easy to decipher while other pieces take weeks. months or possibly years to grasp.  During a letter to Thessalonica, Paul reminds the people he visited to abstain from evil, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22.  Although you will never know all the answers to life’s questions, at some point you have to start believing.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Advertisements

God Doesn’t Play that Game

As a high school teacher of 10 years, I was shocked how negatively students viewed a snitch.  Whether you are an informer, tattle tale or tell the truth when asked a question, most class mates will treat you like a Benedict Arnold.  In the March 4th airing of Amish Mafia, the episode entitled De Rott portrayed a similar message, referring to a rat or snitch.  This term is associated with anyone who tells authorities outside of the Amish community about activities by their members.  John was shown privately meeting with a police officer from Lancaster County to save himself from going to jail, sharing information about potential illegal activities.  Hollywood has a history of covering this topic.

Brenden Fraser, Chris O’Donnell, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck starred in the 1992 film School Ties, a drama illustrating the strong ties one makes in a boarding school setting.  Brenden Fraser plays David Greene, a ringer quarterback who is recruited to bring a championship his season year.  As long as no one knew he was a Jew in an all boys Catholic school, he was one of the guys.  When the secret slipped out, his life changed, shunned by those who celebrated with him on the football field.  Considered a traitor, classmates accuse David of cheating on a mid-term exam, despite his own roommate seeing the real cheater.  When school ties form against David, only a miracle will save him from being expelled.

James 4:17 addresses a broad aspect of stitching and telling the truth.  The essential message brought forth in this passage urges followers of Jesus to do the right thing.  Whether its speaking out against an injustice or reaching out to someone in need, if you sit back without acting, you’re just as guilty as someone who blatantly sins.  Despite what our culture may think about snitching or telling the truth, God doesn’t play that game!  The Lord is waiting for people to stand in the gap on His behalf, Ezekiel 22:30.  In the end, strive to please God by putting your faith into action, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2.

Is there ever a time when you should not snitch or tell the truth?  Please share your comment below.

by Jay Mankus

 

Sometimes You Gotta Do What You’ve Gotta Do

There are circumstances in life when you find yourself in a no win situation.  In other words, you’ve damned if you do and damned if you don’t.  Whether its being honest in a world lacking integrity or telling a customer the truth before they purchase an item, its impossible to please everyone.  Thus, sometimes you gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

In the film Remember the Titans, based upon the true story of desegregation within Virginia High Schools during the 1970’s, Coach Bill Yoast finds himself in one of these predicaments.  Told by 2 board members of the Virginia Football Hall of Fame, all he had to do was go along with the fix, accept losing the Regional final football game and he would earn the votes necessary to achieve this honor.  As the officials threw flag after flag to insure the Titans would not be victorious, Coach Yoast couldn’t bear to see an undefeated season go down in smoke without intervening.

As the world welcomes 2014 on Wednesday, it won’t be long til you face a similar dilemma.  When placed into a corner, what will you do?  Are you going to please others like Galatians 1:10 suggests or will you do what’s right in God’s eyes?  Whatever choice you make, may the example of Coach Yoast serve as inspiration to put a hall of fame career on hold by doing the honorable thing.

by Jay Mankus

Tattle Tale

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a tattle tale is an informer.  Within a home, a tattle  tale breaks the unspoken code, not to rat on their brother or sister.  However, where do you draw the line between telling the truth and exposing unwholesome behavior?  As bullying continues to rise at schools across America, sometimes individuals must to be willing to betray this code to prevent further violent acts.

One of the most famous tattle tales of the Bible is introduced in Genesis 37.  Based on the information passed onto Moses, Joseph brings back a bad report about his brothers’ behavior to his father.  While it is not certain, Joseph appears to have gained Israel’s favor.  Like his mother Rachel, Joseph’s father loved him more than any of his other 11 sons.  Thus, an assumption you can make is that Joseph is the first tattle tale to be rewarded in the Bible with a coat of many colors, Genesis 37:3.

Today, the media uses the term whistle blower to describe a tattle tale.  In most cases, modern whistle blowers are applauded, praised and viewed as heroes.  Some of the most famous American whistle blowers are Karen Silkwood, inspiring the 1983 film entitled Silkwood, Mark Felt who leaked information to the press about Richard Nixon’s involvement in Watergate and Peter Rost who exposed Pfizer for their accounting irregularities.  If only the negative connotation of the word tattle tale could be removed, maybe more young people would be willing to come forward with the truth like Joseph?  As for now, young people would rather keep quiet, afraid of earning a reputation as a fink.  May God raise up a generation of bold children, “tattle tales,” who are willing to eliminate bullying and obscene behavior from their classrooms.

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: