Tough Beef

One obvious  fact that has emerged from the horse-meat scandal that has erupted in recent days is the clear limitations of regulation where someone has decided to be deliberately dishonest. Sure, if you up the number of tests done and the likelihood of getting caught increases it is probable that fewer people will want to risk it. But ultimately, if an animal is properly traced all the way to the abattoir and the carcass is properly traced through the grisly  process of slaughter and butchering. Assuming that the meat is properly labelled leaving the meat processor’s factory, if someone then switches the labels so that ‘horse meat’ becomes surprisingly cheap ‘beef’, the likelihood of this being found out are very slim indeed.

The problem stems from a fundamental lack of personal honesty. Someone has decided to tell a deliberate lie and risk that they will not be caught. We know it as fraud and you can go to prison for it. Yet every one of us at some point has done essentially the same thing. In fact, we arguably do it every day. Each day we present a face to the world that suggests a certainty that we rarely truly feel; that projects a moral uprightness that in our own heart we know to be far from the truth. The ancient Greeks had a word for a person who put on a mask and pretended to be someone else. We call them actors, the Greeks called them hypocrites!

The Bible acknowledges this aspect of human nature. Yet it makes clear that God is not taken in by the front that we put on. We read in Hebrews 4.13, “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account”. It’s a thought, isn’t it? Yet the God who knows you as you really are is the God who has demonstrates his love towards you, Romans 5.8 “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.

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