Day 12: Proverbs 12: 17, 19, 22
Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
but a false witness utters deceit.
Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
but those who act faithfully are his delight.
- There is a tie between truth and justice
- Speech reflects a person’s character.
- Those who speak truth are upright and can be trusted.
- Those who speak lies are duplicitous and cannot be trusted.
- The truth is changeless and timeless.
- Lies can be challenged and unravel over time.
- God hates lies.
- Truthful speech and actions bless the Lord.
It is frightening to imagine a world in which NO ONE can be trusted to tell the truth. Making informed decisions would be impossible. Social cohesion would be significantly weakened, if not destroyed altogether.
God is well aware of the danger associated with telling lies. From Genesis 3, we know that sin came into the world after Satan lied to Eve. In the Ninth Commandment handed down to the Israelites through Moses, God went so far as to expressly forbid lying (Exodus 20:6).
We know that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). And as his followers, we should be a people of truth. But sometimes we are tempted toward a “little white lie,” possibly to spare the feelings of beloved family member or friend. However, if Jesus is the One we are following, being changed more and more into His likeness, we must take note that we see no “little white lies” in His earthly ministry. Instead, we see, always in His words and actions, truth, encased in love. Before falling into the temptation to say a “little white lie,” trust that our God will show us a way to escape this temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Is it ever morally permissible to lie?
No. Though God did deal well with the midwives who lied to Pharaoh about why newborn Hebrew babies were not being killed (Exodus 1:17-21) and with Rahab, the prostitute, who told a falsehood to protect Israelite spies (Josh 2:1-7), these situations showcase faithful followers of God standing for God’s truth at their own peril.
The bottom line is that God detests lies. We are an imperfect people, but we should always strive to act and speak in a way that would be pleasing to the Lord.
Lord, I desire to be your delight. I desire to speak the truth in love in all circumstances. In those instances when I might be tempted to lie, remind me to call upon your Holy Spirit to give me the words to speak that would be pleasing to you. In your precious Son’s name I pray. Amen.
- Melanie Lewis