Am I W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G.? Are you?

If you spend a hundred bucks and buy the right software, you can create web pages the easy way, or you can save the money and struggle writing it all in HyperText Mark-up Language (HTML). With HTML, you have to imagine what each finished page will look like. With web-design software, nothing is left for you to figure out: "What You See Is What You Get" (WYSIWYG). The same is true of a number of different computer graphics applications. The best software is always WYSIWYG.

From the very beginning of the human race, God has wanted us to be WYSIWYG. Sin is what prompted the fig leaves and all the other means of hiding what we really are, think, and do. Yet God keeps calling us back to the open transparency of Eden.

The sage of Jerusalem put it this way: "The words of a man's mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook" (Prov. 18:4). In other words, just as you don't know what's at the bottom of a deep-flowing river, you can't tell whether people's words truly reveal their intentions, unless they are wise enough to be as clear as a bubbling brook.

Paul told the Thessalonians that his motives were obvious; he had nothing to hide (1 Thess. 2:3-6). He tells the Corinthians he has laid his mouth and his heart open, as if for their inspection (2 Cor. 6:11), and he denies having used any manipulation (2 Cor. 7:2).

We Christians must learn to be WYSIWYG people, with regard to confessing our sins (1 John 1:9), revealing our motives (1 Cor. 4:5), and, like Jesus, communicating clearly (John 18:20; Col. 4:4). When people can trust us as easily as a hiker who steps into a bubbling brook, they can learn to trust the One of whom we speak: the Savior whose motives and whose love are always as transparent as crystal. Nobody likes to be manipulated or deceived.

Steve Singleton has written and edited several books and numerous articles on subjects of interest to Bible students. He has taught Greek, Bible, and religious studies courses Bible college, university, and adult education programs. He has taught seminars and workshops in 11 states and the Caribbean.

Go to his DeeperStudy.org for Bible study resources, no matter what your level of expertise. Explore "The Shallows," plumb "The Depths," or use the well-organized "Study Links" for original sources in English translation. Sign up for Steve's free "DeeperStudy Newsletter."

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