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He confidently made the oath and the waiting crowd was amazed by the unexpected outcome!  A Chinese man named Xu, who swore he didn’t owe money that he had borrowed from a neighbor, was hit by lightning 60 seconds later. Southeast Express reports that Xu made the oath in front of a crowd of neighbors in the city of Fuqing. He vowed that he had never borrowed money from Mr. Huang, who claimed Xu  had borrowed 500 yuan (about $70 U.S.) three years earlier.

"He borrowed 500 yuan three years ago from me for a friend's marriage gift, but he has denied it ever since then," said Huang, who went to Xu's home to demand payment.

"I told him that if he dared to swear to God that he didn't owe me the money, then I would waive his debt," said Huang.1 Xu was taken to the hospital after being struck by lightning immediately after swearing that he never borrowed the money. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Mere Coincidence?

Is this incredible occurence a mere coincidence, or divine retribution from an angry God toward a lying cheat? Mr. Huang definitely believes the latter, and no one seems to be able to convince him otherwise.

It’s difficult for any of us to conclusively comment on such a strange spectacle of nature. Most of us don’t know Xu (or Mr. Huang for that matter). I wouldn’t attempt to speculate on Xu’s guiltiness, and it probably wouldn’t matter much if I did. I can’t possibly know the validity of Mr. Huang’s claim that Xu owed money, but the story did make me stop and think about a verse of scripture that illuminates honest interaction.

“Don’t say anything you don’t mean” (Matthew 5:33).

When we express something to someone else, the Bible exhorts us to do that honestly and with integrity. If we claim to be Christians and yet choose not to keep an upstanding profile for the rest of the world to see, our actions speak louder than our words ever can. The fear of divine retribution shouldn’t be the motivation for our unshakable integrity. It ought to come by us naturally!

1 Annanova News Story

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By Michael Temple. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE / REMIX ®.


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