So, true story. We didn’t read it in our media outlets, but they did in Dublin. It was a piece of just personal interest type stuff I suppose, but good news should be shared, so I will with you.
Back in 2013 a man hailed a taxi in New York City. When he got to his destination, he didn’t have enough money to pay the cabbie. He apologized to the cabbie, and told the cabbie that he owned a bar in Dublin (to which the cabbie is reported as saying “Yeah, who doesn’t”). He said that if the cabbie was ever in Dublin, he would repay him with the equivalent amount of beer. They actually took the time to make the conversion of dollars to euros, and agreed that the bartender owed the cabbie 2 pints of beer.
Fast forward to a couple of days ago. On October 18th the cabbie actually was in Dublin. And he went to the bar. Now, apparently he had called ahead because when he showed up, they had hung a banner welcoming him, had a big party, and presented him with his two pints of beer. Now, I think he should’ve gotten more than the two pints because the exchange rate has changed a lot since 2013. But anyway, I would also say he got a lot more than the cab fare in return. The IOU was paid in spades (or should we say clubs?).
The Bible is very clear about speaking the truth and honoring your word. And if I take political debates as an example, we accuse one another of lying a lot these days. Expecting the truth seems to be a dying expectation in our country. But it should not, and cannot, be amongst us as Christians. In Exodus, the ninth commandment says not to bear false witness. In Numbers it says “When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.” (30:2). In Matthew 5 Jesus said “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’” (v.37).
The Bible mandates things that are for our good. The commands of God are for our benefit, not His – God knows the truth whether we speak it or not. It is for the functioning of society that we must speak the truth. We can only do business, relate to our neighbors, carry on as families if we can trust one another. And trust goes out the window when lies are introduced. Or in this case, when you don’t honor your word about the two pints of beer.
We shouldn’t live in a world where the international IOU being honored is noteworthy. It should be that way all the time. Let’s make sure we are contributing to the normalcy of truth telling. The Truth, after all, is an attribute of our Lord (John 14:6).
Watching my words,
Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven
and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2