Christian LivingPractical Religion
A Christian Living Article from Guide to Kingdom Living

True Christian living requires us to live according to Kingdom standards which bring Heaven to earth.

FROM Neville Fowler

Today, 17th. February, is the anniversary of the birth in 1732 of George Washington who became the first President of the United States of America.

It has been said of George Washington that he never told a lie - though that is probably not entirely true!

I certainly cannot make that claim for myself. In fact of all the punishments I received as a schoolboy there is one that I earned in the Upper Fourth that has remained etched in my memory. I cannot remember the precise details of my crime; something to do with pages missing from my excercise book. I can't remember why. Either I had removed them because I'd made a mess of them, or perhaps because I didn't like what the teacher had written there. Whatever it was I gave a different 'imaginitive reason' to him. Clearly it was evident to him that I was lying - I never was any good at acting - and as a punishment the he told me to write an essay of six hundred words on "Truth", to be handed in at his next lesson in two days time. I quickly had recourse to the school library and found a book of the "Essays" of Francis Bacon (1561-1626). On opening the book I was delighted to discover that essay number one was entitled "Of Truth". Little as I have deserved it, I have found Providence to be my guide from an early age! Needless to say I incorporated many of Bacon's thoughts, and doubtless many of his words, into my composition! In particular I liked his "What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer," and my essay took on a religious tone. Writing that essay was part of my religious education, the first 'religious epistle' I ever wrote, and the importance of truth was not the only lesson I learned from it. I felt really quite proud when I handed in the results of my many hours of mental labour to the master at the beginning of his next lesson. If I had any fear at all it was that he might, after reading it, set me another essay on "Plagiarism"! But he took it from me, and without a word or so much as a glance at its erudite contents, but with a rather sickly smile on his face, he tore it in shreds and threw it straight into the waste paper basket. I felt mortified. His action seemed to me like some form of sadism, but I had learned a lesson about pride too!

Another American Statesman, Benjamin Franklin, bequeathed to us the saying "Honesty is the best policy." That is a maxim that was instilled into me as a child at school and at home. Not because it necessarily "pays", in the short term, but because it is right. Such is the teaching of God's word. "You shall have honest scales, honest weights, . . . I am Jehovah your God." (Leviticus 19:36). "Therefore, putting away lying, 'let each one of you speak truth with his neighbour', for we are members of one another." Ephesians 4:25

It is absolutely vital that we have a good grasp of the true theology of Christianity. We are saved by grace, though faith - and even that faith is not of our own doing, it is the gift of God. (see Ephesians 2:8). Yet if we do not trust God sufficiently to try to obey His instructions our supposed faith is dead. When we try He forgives us for our failings, but not to try, to presume on His forebearance without any effort on our part, that is another matter. If our Christianity is not 'practical' it is not really Christianity at all. A living faith has to be lived.

So help me God.


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