Just As I Was Talking About Money ...
Two Polls

Catching Up on Catch Phrases

"Everyone knows that ..."

"They did a study that concluded that ..."

"It has been proven that ..."

"Doctors tell us that ..."

"Jesus spoke more about ..."

The truth is, we are not all that careful about what we declare to be true and universally accepted as truth. If we say and hear something enough, we start to believe it with unquestioning conviction and declare it with intolerance for anyone who would dare to question our assumptions or sources.

But how often do we go back and reexamine our sources and question our own assumptions?

There are two areas where I believe we should be very picky about the details: when we make business claims and when we declare biblical truth.

All we have in business is our credibility and integrity and in ministry, we represent the credibility and integrity of God. It is better to be tentative, uncertain, and humble than to be boisterously confident without the strength of truth behind us. There are quote, quips, and "factoids" that make convincing business selling points or dynamic preaching points that have absolutely no basis in fact. We should avoid these or at least preface them with a disclaimer.

I stumbled on a very impressive blog the other day. I can't tell how much I agree or disagree with this brother because he is so thoughtful and fair. There are many things that impress me about David Wayne's Jolly Blogger, like the way he has done his homework and integrated a wealth of information, and the huge amount of traffic he is getting daily.

Perhaps what impressed me most was how he is willing to tackle tough issues and think outside any box while nurturing a high regard for scripture and an open handed willingness to embrace those with whom he disagrees. I spent a lot of time there and gleaned this quote:

I recently came across a good post and discussion on Verum Serum about how much Jesus spoke of hell. Apparently someone made the statement that Jesus spoke about hell more than heaven, so John at Verum Serum checked it out to see if it was true and he came to the conclusion, just be doing a word count that Jesus speaks more about heaven than hell. More at Jolly Blogger : Did Jesus Talk ...?

David does his homework with the only source we have that can be authoritative in this matter - the Bible. The conclusion is surprising.

Talk about tackling a time-honored truism and being willing to question a much ballyhooed coffin nail. How many preachers will be left with only a two point sermon if they take this study seriously?

I heard once of a famous preacher whose son was also a very fine up and coming preacher, but whose studies of the Bible had led him to a different eschatological position than his dad. His father said, "That's OK son. We agree on what's most important, but you sure are giving up a lot of good preaching material."

Perhaps, but he was willing to follow the truth wherever it led and tell only the truth that he could substantiate.

What would happen in business and ministry if we just told the truth and were more careful about it than we have been in the past? How many catch phrases might we have to abandon? How much fresher would our message be?

There is no substitute for credibility and integrity. If it it is costly to be honest, it is costlier in the long run not to be.
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