Articles by Stan Dean

Be Genuine

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A high school principal walked onto the parking lot of his school one afternoon. He quickly noticed a group of junior high boys standing around in a circle. Experience told him that something was going on that needed his attention so he moved in for a closer look.

As he got near the boys he noticed a small dog in the middle of the circle. Curiosity took over at that point, so he inquired, “Boys, what is going on?” One of the boys answered, “Well sir, this stray dog needs a home and we all want him. So, we came up with a contest to see who gets him.”

“Oh, what kind of a contest did you come up with?” the principal continued. The forthcoming boy replied, “Whichever one of us can tell the biggest lie will be the winner and the dog will be his prize.”
The principal thought to himself, “These students need to know that lying is a bad thing so I will use this as a teachable moment.” Thus, he shook his head and spoke sadly, “Boys, boys, I am disappointed in you. Why, when I was your age I would have never thought of lying about anything; especially, making a game out of it!”

The young men were silent for a moment and just looked around at each other and nodded. Then their spokesman piped up again and said, “Okay Mr. Principal, the dog is yours!” Ouch!

Now I am not trying to be frivolous about lying. In fact, the Bible is quite clear about God’s view of lying (cf. Revelation 21:8). My point here is to talk about being genuine. Genuineness is a transparent quality that is appreciated by everyone. A lack of genuineness is easily detected and appreciated by no one. It was one of the biggest problems Jesus faced during his earthly ministry among those who claimed to be the religious leaders of the day. Not only did their hypocrisy cause them loss of favor with God, it was also a big “turn off” to those who witnessed it. Jesus condemned the scribes and Pharisees for their lack of genuineness saying, “You shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in” (Matthew 23:13).

Let us all strive to live Godly lives that are genuine and sincere. It is the only life that makes a difference with God- - and our fellowman (cf. 1 Timothy 4:16).

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