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Column: Honesty inside and out

Neighbourly Advice According to Ed: We cannot stay sinless long.
God is ready to meet us with loving forgiveness when we come before him as honest sinners seeking His forgiveness.

I announced to Ed, my old neighbour in Saskatchewan, that I had acted to rectify my car’s neglect. The dirt and grime from last winter’s and this spring’s road travel covered the outside. An accumulation of trash from MacDonald's and Tim Hortons take-out visits littered the inside. The back seat can double as a trash can.

I washed and waxed the outside of the car and vacuumed the inside of my Malibu. I thought it was in an excellent state of cleanliness until the wife pointed out that the trunk was still a mess. So, I tidied it up too to complete the car's total cleanup. I admit my car cleanups are usually overdue. 

Ed says cleaning a vehicle shows pride in ownership. He keeps his pickup truck in showroom condition and has no patience for people who don't keep their cars or trucks looking fine all the time. He reminds me of the person who cleans their house every day whether it needs it or not.

It is certain everyone has their particular priorities. Ed’s goal is a clean truck at all times. Ed and I both feel we should make honesty one of our daily ideals. I told Ed one time that the way he thinks about honesty is Biblical. He wasn't sure what I meant, so I said to him. Here's what the Bible states clearly about honesty.

1 Peter 3:10: "Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit." Colossians 3:9: “Do not lie to one another.” Exodus 20:16: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

My old neighbour said that he did agree with those three points, but I probably could not find much more he would agree with wholeheartedly from the Bible.

I quickly told him that he hates what the Lord hates in seven ways. Ed said, “if I don’t agree with what God hates, I don’t want you preaching at me or if I do agree.

“Fair enough,” I said. “I agree, but you must tell me if you do hate the seven things God hates.”

“I will let you know,” Ed promised me. 

I read from Proverbs 6:16-19, “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies and one who sows discord among brothers.”

Ed said, “Yes, I agree with the Lord, as I too hate those seven things, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready for God or Him for me. Knowing what is right, isn't the same as always doing right. Clean vehicles become dirty shortly after you clean them. Clean doesn’t last long.”

Ed is correct. We cannot stay sinless long, believers in God sin. King David sinned in adultery and murder. David knew that God’s love for sinners is greater than their sin. He confessed his shame and remorse to God, trusting that God's love would blot out his sin. Day by day, God is ready to meet us with loving forgiveness when we come before him as honest sinners seeking His forgiveness.