Proverbs 19:5, “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies will not escape”
Colossians 3:9, “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds”
A 12 year-old boy was a key witness in a lawsuit being held in Federal Court. One of the lawyers, after intense questioning of the young boy, asked, “Your father told you what to say, didn’t he?” “Yes,” answered the boy. “Now tell us,” pursued the lawyer, “what were his instructions to you?” “Well,” replied the young boy, “Father told me the lawyers would try to tangle me up in my testimony; but if I would just be careful and tell the truth, I could say the same thing every time.”
My beloved, speaking the truth should be one of the outstanding characteristics of a follower of Jesus Christ. According to Colossians 3:9, a believer should not lie, since he has “put off the old man with his deeds.” Whenever we are deceitful, we are following Satan’s example, “for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). Lies are based on the false assumption that we can hide a wrong and protect ourselves from the truth by simply denying the facts. However, lying merely compounds a problem. Honest and truthful confession, on the other hand, is the quickest way to forgiveness, and it puts us back under the wise counsel and care of our Heavenly Father.
Proverbs 12:22 tell us, “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.” An understanding of honesty begins with recognizing that God, our ultimate example, is truth (Deuteronomy 32:4) and that He cannot lie (Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 6:18). Additionally, he hates falsehood (Proverbs 6:16-19), and beyond that, all lies have as their originator Satan himself.
Dishonesty in even the smallest matter may severely damage a believer’s testimony. The following story shows just how closely God’s people are being watched. A businessman and born-again believer in Christ was invited to speak at a local church in Nashville. He chose for his text, “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15), and he spoke unswervingly on the topic. The next morning he boarded a city bus for the ride to work. He handed a dollar bill to the driver and received some change, which he counted as he proceeded down the aisle. However, before he reached his seat, he realized he had been given a dime too much.
His first thought was that the transit bus company would never miss a dime. However, deep inside he knew he should return it to the driver. So he went back to the driver and said, “You gave me too much change, sir.” To his amazement, the driver replied, “I know a dime too much. I gave it to you on purpose. Then I watched you in my mirror as you counted your change. You see, I heard you speak yesterday, and if you had kept the dime I would have had no confidence in what you said.” If we consider that dime an insignificant matter, we need to meditate carefully on Exodus 10:15, and remember that people are watching us.
For our part, we can use these Scriptures as our daily guide: “A righteous man hates lying” (Proverbs 13:5); love rejoices in truth (1 Corinthians 13:6); lying is part of the old nature (Colossians 3:9); growth means setting aside deceit (1 Peter 2:1); and speaking truth declares righteousness (Proverbs 12:17).
People who trust God’s Word should be people whose word can be trusted.