Gen 12:17-18 But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household of Abram’s wife Sarah. So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister.’…”
God preserves the best and worst of faith heroes in scripture. How unusual is that? Ask a man to describe himself. Most likely, he will elaborate on his victories and minimize (forget?) his failures. Scripture can be both instructive and insightful for this reason!
Abram’s many great faith victories were shared with a serious character flaw. Under direct pressure, Abram told half-truths to protect himself. In this case, both Abram and Sarah were related to Terah (Gen 11:29). Sarah was probably Abram’s half-sister. So, partial truth, Abram chose to protect himself (and jeopardize God’s promised seed) by presenting Sarah to Pharaoh as his sister. Was his half-truth a lie or the truth? Notice that God acted to punish Pharaoh and his household. He treated Abram’s half-truth as a lie.
We are “God’s man” at work, in our family and with our peers. Regularly, we are presented with situations that force us to decide whether, or not, to compromise His integrity. Do we admit error? Do we share blame? Do we step up when everyone else backs away? Conversely, in recognition of our own flaws, how do we challenge ourselves and others to live truthfully and honestly?
Half-truths reflect compromised truth. Compromised truth tells others about our character as men and leaders. How do I challenge myself to live without lies? Am I approachable, or am I a hammer, when lies (half-truths?) are confessed to me and mistakes openly admitted? Do I move quickly to embrace the confession, restore the sinner and underscore the importance of truth and integrity?
Eph 4:29-32 “Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift… His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted… Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.” (The Message)