Sabbath School Lesson 2018 Quarter 1 Lesson 7 Sunday

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A Matter of Simple Honesty

Sabbath School Lesson 2018 Quarter 1 Lesson 7 Sunday

Read first paragraph,

“One thing most of us have in common is that we do not like dishonesty. We especially do not like it when we see it manifested in others. It’s not easy, though, to see it in ourselves, and when we do, we tend to rationalize our actions, to justify them, to downplay their significance: Oh, it’s not that bad; it’s only a small thing, not really important. We might fool ourselves even, most of the time; but we never fool God.”

When you hear “dishonesty” what do you think? What does this mean to you?

What is your concern about people when you think if dishonesty? Is it merely they were not honest, or do you hear within the concept of dishonesty, exploitation, someone seeking to harm, to take advantage?

So if you had a surprise party thrown for you, and you thought you were going to one event but instead you find yourself at a party for you; do you, once the party is sprung, believe you have been sinned against? Do you experience yourself as wronged, exploited or injured? Why or why not? If not, do you realize that you were deceived, but no sin happened—why? Because no harm was intended nor perpetrated against you.

Did God’s prophets ever use methods of deception, i.e. told falsehoods, made up stories, lied?

38 By the word of the Lord one of the sons of the prophets said to his companion, “Strike me with your weapon”… Then the prophet went and stood by the road waiting for the king. He disguised himself with his headband down over his eyes. [Note, how was the prophet wounded? By self directing another person to wound him.] 39 As the king passed by, the prophet called out to him, “Your servant went into the thick of the battle, and someone came to me with a captive and said, ‘Guard this man. If he is missing, it will be your life for his life, or you must pay a talent of silver.’ 40 While your servant was busy here and there, the man disappeared.”

“That is your sentence,” the king of Israel said. “You have pronounced it yourself.”

41 Then the prophet quickly removed the headband from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized him as one of the prophets. 42 He said to the king, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have set free a man I had determined should die. Therefore it is your life for his life, your people for his people.’ ” 43 Sullen and angry, the king of Israel went to his palace in Samaria. 1st Kings 20:38-43

Was the prophet honest with the king about what had happened to him? Was this a violation of the Commandment?

1 The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor.

2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle,

3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.

4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”

5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die!

6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”

7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!

2nd Samuel  12:1-7

Who sent Nathan to David? Was Nathan truthful about the situation he was bringing before David and why he was bringing it? Was this a violation of the Commandment?

Why is neither of these examples of misleading a violation of the Commandment? Because the commandment is about dishonesty that injures another—in these cases the deception was designed to remove the self-deception and bring truth to bear in the hearts of the two kings!

Level four and below people operate upon rules and cannot process on this level. They will argue that what I am saying is subtle deception, for them life is easier with black and white rules. They prefer to be able to simply speak truths regardless of the injury to others resting safe in “What I said was true.”

Now, what about honesty or dishonesty to children? How about this situation:

A 12-year-old child is asked to either do special music or read a Scripture for church. They do a very poor job, either many wrong notes, or misreads words, slowly sounds them out, getting words wrong. But when they finish the church applauds and the adults on stage say “Good job. Well done.”

  • Are they being honest with the child?
  • Is there any danger labeling poor performance as good performance?
  • Do children of a certain age know whether they played or read well or not?
  • What happens in the child’s mind when in their judgment, because the notes were off, because they stumbled and didn’t know some of the words, they conclude that they didn’t do well, but the adults they look up to say “Good job! Well done”?
  • Are we being honest?

What about in school when everyone gets a participation award?

Are we being honest in society when we tell people that if you get upset about something it is because someone else was not sensitive enough to your needs and they didn’t create a safe space for you to flourish?

What did Jesus say we should expect from others?

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.” Matthew 24:9

Are we honest with young people if we tell them they have a right that people conform their behavior to not upset them?

Where is the line between our responsibility to be kind, honest, caring people never seeking to injure, offend, harm another, and being held hostage to the way someone else may interpret our actions?

Do we help people to mature, or do we create a falsehood, a false understanding of reality when we lead people to believe that their hurt feelings are not their own responsibility, but the fault of an insensitive society?

What did Jesus teach?

44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:44,45

If we want to follow Jesus we want to deal honestly with the word, to lead people to the truth of how reality actually works. And notice what example Jesus gives about being like the Father, God causes the sun to rise and the rain to fall on the evil and the good—this is design law, the laws of God are constants and never change.

  • We are to understand reality, God’s kingdom and realize that when people mistreat us, they are showing sickness in their own heart and mind (from abundance of heart mouth speaks)
  • If we love them we don’t take it personally, we pray as Jesus did “Father forgive them….”
  • We choose, in governance of self to stay in harmony with God, with life, with the only method that heals and restores. 
  • But, when we go down the “my rights” approach and demand others conform to meet our needs, we move out of harmony with God, and promote the principles of selfishness which always results in division.

Are we being honest in our society today?

The lesson really wants us to focus on the Tithe, so let’s turn to that subject, read last paragraph,

““No appeal is made to gratitude or to generosity. This is a matter of simple honesty. The tithe is the Lord’s; and He bids us return to Him that which is His own. . . . If honesty is an essential principle of business life, must we not recognize our obligation to God – the obligation that underlies every other?” – Ellen G. White, Education, pp. 138, 139.”

What is the purpose of tithe?

Isn’t the tithe purposed for the gospel ministry? To whom is tithe to be paid?

Is the tithe only to be paid to institutional churches, or is it to be used wherever God impresses you to place it for the spreading of the gospel?

Well here is one person’s view, see if you agree with her view of the tithe and how it is to be used and where it is to go?

“There are ministers’ wives… who have been devoted, earnest, whole-souled workers, giving Bible readings and praying with families, helping along by personal efforts just as successfully as their husbands. These women give their whole time, and are told that they receive nothing for their labors because their husbands receive wages. I tell them to go forward and all such decisions will be revised. The Word says, “The labourer is worthy of his hire.” Luke 10:7. When any such decision as this is made, I will, in the name of the Lord, protest. I will feel it my duty to create a fund from my tithe money to pay these women who are accomplishing just as essential work as the ministers are doing, and this tithe I will reserve for work in the same line as that of the ministers, hunting for souls, fishing for souls. {Daughters of God page 106.1}

It has been presented to me for years [by whom?] that my tithe was to be appropriated by myself to aid the white and colored ministers who were neglected and did not receive sufficient income to properly to support their families… {Manuscript Releases Vol.2 page 99.3}

I have myself appropriated my tithe to the most needy cases brought to my notice. I have been instructed to do this, and as the money is not withheld from the Lord’s treasury, [wait, it wasn’t being given to the organized church, yet was not withheld from the Lord’s treasury, why?] it is not a matter that should be commented upon, for it will necessitate my making known these matters, which I do not desire to do, because it is not best. {Manuscript Releases Vol.2 page 99.5}

Some cases have been kept before me for years, and I have supplied their needs from the tithe, as God has instructed me to do. And if any person shall say to me, Sister White, will you appropriate my tithe where you know it is most needed, I shall say, Yes, I will; and I have done so… {Manuscript Releases Vol.2 page 100.1}

What is the purpose of the tithe? To whom is it to be paid?

Comments (4)

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