Wednesday, April 18, 2018
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Listen while you read: "Father We Thank Thee"1 (Lyrics)

John 8:32 – And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (ESV)

Zoë is my eldest daughter from my second marriage, and she will be ten years old in the summer. Along with her younger sister Sophia, they are at a Church of England primary school where I am a Vision and Values governor. Every term, we promote a Christian value. This term's value has been truthfulness.

It seems to me that this is an attention-grabbing value for young people in modern times, for when used by adults, it appears to have become a more distant and blatantly feeble version of God's original intention.

Let me make it clear: we all tell lies. It is a developmental part of growing up. Sooner or later, we face up to the significance of lying. So, it is just a matter of how big it is, and whether it is blatant, expedient, supportive, or polite: It's okay for me to take everyday office supplies. You look great! I love you. I'm fine. Of course, I will. Just a moment. Let me call you back straight away. And so it goes on.

As I am often in the school office, I had an envelope given to me recently, passed on from Zoë's classroom teaching assistant. Inside was a copy of Zoë's work in class. Later, I met the classroom aide, and she was extremely effusive about how Zoë had answered the question for a written prayer.

The Personal Social and Health Education class was given the following as a reflective starter to write a prayer for assembly:

    We thank You for the peace we feel when we are truthful and the way You trouble us inside when we tell lies. Give us Your courage to be honest whatever the cost.

My oversight on behalf of the school as a Vision and Values governor made me read and re-read it more carefully the second time, and I noticed the use of "Your". It is loaded with godly insight.

Zoë and I often reflect upon God's input on our lives and the world around us. I help to shine the light as best I can, but now I see that all my children have understanding and awareness of God through Jesus. Her answer to the assignment was as follows:

    T – Tell us we are wrong when we lie
    R – Remind us that we should be honest
    U – Unite us with friends we lost from fibbing
    T – Temptation to lie can be stopped
    H – Hold us close to You when it is hard

Anyway, I thought that there is more than enough for us to grapple with today from the openness of a young child dealing with life and truth. Where are we?

Prayer: Lord, we thank You that You always love us, even when we get it wrong and we are weak or fearful in the company of others, or even You. Thank You for Your restorative justice that wants to bring us back to the narrow path, and where possible, to show us how we can undo the harm of sin, that Your light may overcome the darkness of negative emotions. Grant us Your courage to seek to mend our friendships when they have gone wrong. Please show us where You have for us to go today. May we let Your light be in us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for a good word, Rob.

    WOW!!!! for ZOE and for YOU, Rod.

    Enjoy your writings.

    Good word Rod!

    I thank you for all your devotions and I just loved the one today.
    God Bless.

    Seems just the other day when you wrote about Zoe as a baby!
    Now she is giving inspiration to you for another DD!
    Thanks so much. I’ll be guarding my tongue and my thoughts!
    (BC Canada)

    Thank-you Rod for sharing this devotion. Thank-you Lord for Christian Day Schools that still hold and teach Christian values. We sure need more of them in our world today!
    This was a lovely read!
    Continual blessings to you and yours.
    (Ontario, Canada)

    This was so good! How delightful to read of a young girl with such insight as ‘Your courage,’ when I read that it was like wow, she understands God in a neat way. How He has the courage to enable us to have courage.
    God bless her as she continues her studies, it should be amazing to see how God uses her now and in the future.
    God bless you and all that you do to plant the seeds that the Holy Spirit can water and help grow!

    Hi Rod
    Love your teaching – and your truth. Please keep feeding us more of it.
    I was amazed to read recently how often the average person lies (because people lie!). I was raised by two parents (both very Godly people) who did not exaggerate the truth, and, to my knowledge, always told the truth (although I’m sure there must have been the odd lie which I missed). Paul describes the relationship between truth and godliness in Titus 1:1 describing himself as “being a servant of God …with the knowledge of truth that leads to godliness.”
    I quite seriously cannot remember a single time that I discovered that my parents were lying to me. I am convinced that our relationship with truth is something we learn at a young age – and stays with us for life.
    (BC, Canada)

    Dear Rod Marshall,
    Thanks for sharing meanings of truth.
    God is truth. Let us live in him and therefore in truth.
    Keep writing.

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