“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” – Proverbs 6:16-19
The political season is more than upon us in America. In fact, it is maybe nearing a temporary suspension, if such is ever possible, with an election just around the corner. It seems that politics assures us of one particular sin: lying tongues. Lies fill the air waves like gnats in the summer air of southeast Georgia. It is left to voters to sort out truth from falsehoods, but that is not a perfect science for men by any means. People greatly disagree on what are lies and what is true. It takes a Judge of all to sort it out. However, one thing this Judge has told us is that His law is written on man’s heart. Do not people know then when they are telling a lie? Or is the maxim true that if a lie is repeated often enough it somehow becomes true? Well, that is one maxim which does not hold water in God’s eyes. He is the perfect discerner of all things true and all things false.
Political seasons promise this: lies will fly no matter what. However, it is not just politicians who lie for votes and the popularity of enough people to elect them. All people are natural liars, because they have a sinful nature. God’s Word has to encourage, yes command, truth telling, because it is a natural proclivity to lie. The Bible goes so far as to tell us what God detests. Our Proverbs’ text tells us seven things which God hates, and all seven of them involve one particular characteristic accompanying the specific sin: a lying tongue, an aversion to truth. Murder is always accompanied by a lying tongue, rushing into evil is done by a liar, liars devise wicked schemes, and a creator of community conflict initiates such conflict through lies. It is the common denominator of evil. It is why Satan is known as “the father of lies.”
For those who truly desire to speak truth, and not give in to falsehoods, what should they do? If their very nature is evil, what can they do to discern truth, speak truth, and detest lies, as their Heavenly Father. After all He has said, “be holy, as your Father in heaven is holy!” It begins with submitting to the One who is the way, the truth, and the life, even Jesus Christ, the One who can redeem you from evil and can grant you his righteousness as your own. Submitting means the choice of the will to make Jesus Lord of your life. If he is, you will become like him, and thus will absolutely detest lies, and, consequently, love the truth.
To that end you will be persistent in discovering the truth of any matter. It is easy to repeat something you read or hear without taking the time to research its source and verify its truth. Facebook or social media make it extremely easy to pass on falsehoods that “sound right.” There must be within us such a deep love of the truth that we will diligently search for truth or, if we cannot verify to satisfaction, refrain from even speaking about the issue. What comes out of a man reflects his heart, exposes his true character. By their fruit, that is, a man’s words, actions, and example, you will know them. It is not an over-simplification for the Lord to direct us “let your yes be yes, and your no be no!” In other words, be very careful what you say; think in concert with your knowledge of God’s Word before you speak. Which is also to say you will be a constant student of that Word; you will be in it every day. His Word believed will keep truth on your lips.
One of the ways a Christian can be practically defined is he or she is a lover and protector of truth. A genuine Christian will speak truth. Lying is not a practice they indulge. You can come to a place where you know someone is a careful, conscientious speaker who loves the truth and hates falsehoods. Such a person is one whose wisdom you cherish. Seek yourself to be such a person.
“Take thou our minds, dear Lord, we humbly pray; give us the mind of Christ each passing day; teach us to know the truth that sets us free; grant us in all our thoughts to honor thee.”
(1st verse of William Foulkes hymn, “Take Thou Our Minds, Dear Lord,” 1918)
Sign up for our monthly newsletter and weekly devotional