PigWhile working on his sermon, a preacher heard a knock at
his office door. “Come in,” he invited.

A contrite-looking man in threadbare clothes came in,
pulling a large pig on a rope. “Can I talk to you for a minute?”
asked the man with his hat in his hand. Wordlessly, the preacher indicated the
chair and the man sat down in it gingerly. The pig proceeded to sniff around
the office. With one eye on the animal and one on the man, the preacher folded
his hands on his desk and leaned forward, curious to hear the fellow’s story.
“What can I do for you?”

“My family is hungry,” started the man. “So
I stole this pig. But I feel that I have sinned. Would you please take

“Certainly not,” said the minister.

“Then what should I do with it?” asked the man.

“Give it back to the man you stole it from, of
course!” the preacher explained.

“I offered it to him, but he refused to take it. Now
what should I do?”

“In that case,” the minister said, “It
would be all right for you to keep it and feed your family.”

That seemed to settle things as far as the man was
concerned. “Thank you for your help, sir.” With a lighter step, he
walked out of the office, leading the pig on the rope behind him.

It was only later that afternoon when the minister returned
home, that he discovered that somebody had stolen his prize pig!

“While the statements that I made were legally
correct…..” It seems that deceiving others while “technically”
telling the truth has become somewhat of an art form. And there’s no need to
point fingers, because we’ve all been guilty of it at one time or another. We
have learned over the years what words to use (or not use) to lead people to
believe what we want them to believe without actually lying (or so we think).

But Jesus calls his followers to a higher standard than we
are used to seeing — a standard of truth and integrity.

“…in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of
good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound
speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed,
having nothing evil to say of you.” (Titus 2:7-8).

It’s a lofty goal, given to us from the one who was
“full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Alan Smith

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