by John Barnett

Honestly Speaking
John Barnett
1 Thessalonians 2:5–6

We must never be careless about the truth. We must measure our words. If we deceive we must immediately admit it, because deception can become a habit. William James, in his classic Principles of Psychology, put it this way:
Could the young but realize how soon they will become mere walking bundles of habits, they would give more heed to their conduct while in the plastic state. We are spinning our own fates, good or evil, and never to be undone. Every smallest stroke or virtue or vice leaves its ever so little scar. The drunken Rip Van Winkle, in Jefferson's play, excuses himself for every fresh dereliction by saying "I won't count this time! " Well! He may not count it, but it is being counted nonetheless. Down among his nerve cells and fibers the molecules are counting it, registering and storing it up to be used against him when the next temptation comes. Nothing we ever do is, in strict scientific literalness, wiped out. Of course, this has its good side as well as its bad one.1
When Paul looked back on his work among the Thessalonians? A life on a daily basis that was:
1. FEARLESS [2:1]
2. GENUINE [2:3]
3. HONEST [2:5]
4. HUMBLE [2:6]
5. LOVING [2:7]
7. DEDICATED [2:9–11]

This awful sin is likened by James the brother of Christ as fire. A popular author and commentator has well described this condition: DISCIPLINE OF TONGUE2
"James, the Lord's brother, understood this as well as any man in history, and through the use of graphic analogies he has given us the most penetrating exposition of the tongue anywhere in literature, sacred or secular: "When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven
1 William James, Principles of Psychology (Chicago: Encyclopedia Brittannica, Inc. 1952), p. 83 ...

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