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Focus Verses: Micah 2:11 and 3:5
If a liar and deceiver comes and says, 'I will prophesy for you
plenty of wine and beer,' he would be just the prophet for this
people! 3:5 This
is what the LORD says: "As for the prophets who lead my people
astray, if one feeds them, they proclaim 'peace'; if he does not, they
prepare to wage war against him.
Anytime someone is being paid to teach or preach or prophesy,
the listener should beware. This is true in all spheres of life,
including religion, politics, business, media, and academics. When a
person's livelihood is likely to be impacted adversely by what she/he
says, it stands to reason that there will be a strong temptation to
adjust the message for self-serving purposes. When truth-telling
results in hardship or loss for the teller, strong character, courage,
and integrity are necessary.
The "prophets" Judah would listen to were the ones
who said exactly what they wanted to hear. If you're willing to pay,
there is always someone willing to say what you want to hear. Micah
declared God's condemnation of both the false prophets corrupted by
money, and those who were paying them off.
Response and Action:
I need to be careful about who I listen to and who I believe.
When a preacher or politician or celebrity make truth claims, I need
to consider how personal gain figures into their motives for their
message. I must be a person of integrity and be a truth teller. I
must not allow my personal interests or opportunities for gain allow
me to compromise my motives or my message.
O God, help me to love you with
all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Help me to love truth and
walk in truth. Give me the courage and integrity to speak the truth.
Give me the heart and spiritual maturity to speak the truth in love.
Give me the honesty to consider my motives for who I listen to, and
who I believe. Give me the wisdom and discernment to recognize
self-serving lies when I hear them. I ask all this in the name of
Christ Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life. Amen.
Verses: Titus 2:7b-8
7b In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8
and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who
oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about
Who You Are When No One's Looking
by Bill Hybels