About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Self Trumps Truth
In my estimation,
the basic sin of humanity is the pursuit of self interest above all other
pursuits. It all began when
Adam and Eve put their own interests ahead of God's interests.
Since then we all, none excluded, struggle with what I call
"the religion of self."
Our obsession with
self interest often causes us to shift any blame rightly due to us on to
another. In Genesis 3 we read
how Adam shifted blame away from himself and onto Eve while Eve shifted
blame from herself onto the serpant. Accompanying
blame shifting are irrational exaggerations, lies, and cover-ups that are
meant to bolster our image, something the Bible calls sin.
The command not to
lie is found in Exodus 20:16. It,
along with the other nine commands were directed to the nation of
spoke all these words: I am the LORD your God,
who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery."
"you" in this passage refers to the nation of Israel, not just individual Jews as we often interpret the commands that follow.
was to be a nation that upheld truthfulness.
Of course, how individuals in the nation go, so goes the nation.
When exaggeration, lies, cover-ups, and blame shifting becomes
culturally acceptable in the process of self promotion, the nation becomes
untruthful, which opposes the very nature of God.
As seen in Exodus
20:18 and 19, the Ten Commandments were given to Israel
via a demonstration of God's awesome power that literally put the fear of
God into the hearts of the Jews. The
Ten Commandments were not Ten Recommendations.
They were to be obeyed or else suffer the national curses that are
described in Deuteronomy 28:15 and following.
There is something
for us to learn here. When a
culture exchanges humble truthfulness with self promoting blame-shifting,
exaggerations, lies, and cover-ups, Biblically speaking, it is treading on
dangerous ground. When self
interest trumps truth, the self promoters, whether individuals or nations,
are destined for a fall. Proverbs
16:18 says this:
[the foundation of self promotion] goes before destruction, a haughty
spirit before a fall."