[April 6]--Sticks And Stones, Part Two: You Can’t HANDLE The Truth!

Prov. 6:16-19; 26:24-26;12:17; 19:5; 12:19

In case you missed it, the title for today is one of the best movie lines ever. A Few Good Men might not be my favorite movie, but it certainly gave us one of my favorite movie lines of all time.

As you might have guessed from the title and from the Bible verses, today we’re going to talk about one of the most common maladies of the tongue, which has afflicted us since our First Parents. Just remember, the entire race of humanity was cast out of Paradise and plunged into darkness on account of a lie. Please don’t tell me that there’s such a thing as “harmless lie.” So here are some proverbs about this subject, along with my thoughts. . .

Prov. 6:16-19 is a list of some things that God really hates. Do you want your thoughts “in tune” with how the Almighty views things? Then take a look at the list, and count how many times Solomon mentions lying. I’d like to remind you that biblical writers used repetition to emphasize something. And also notice what type of company liars are associated with.

Boy, Solomon has a pretty low view of liars, doesn’t he? I find it very interesting that the motivation listed here is malice, pure and simple. You might already know this, but seven was the number of completion, so the use of that number is another way of saying “lots and lots.” Be careful of “smooth talkers” and con-men; I promise you that they don’t have your best interests at heart.

12:17, at first glance, looks like a tautology (like “A man who is lost does not know where he's going”). And I puzzled over the point that Solomon is trying to make here, and then someone explained it to me. After spending some time with someone, you get to know what type of person they are, and you can assess how much they value the truth. Now, it is true that all people lie to some degree. Jesus is the only person in all of history of whom it could be said “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” But there is a difference between someone who lies occasionally, versus someone who has no regard for the truth, no sense of integrity or honor.  Over time, you can tell what type of person this is, how highly they value telling the truth. Later on, if this person is telling you something that’s counterintuitive, you can evaluate their credibility, whether they’re a “honest witness” or a “false” one. As someone pointed out to me a long time ago, habitual liars lie habitually.

And don’t be fooled. If you’re in the habit of deceiving people, it'll come out eventually. You think you might've gotten away with it, but you haven’t; those lies will hold you captive, and you’ll never be free of them (at least by your own efforts).

Even leaving eternal consideration aside, do you want your name to be remembered with honor? If you stick to telling the truth, even when it hurts your interests, you’ll have a positive impact long after you’re gone. And God will honor that, probably in this world, most definitely in the next.

So you might wondering, what about the “hard cases”? Well, here’s something to provide some balance. Just because you always tell the truth doesn’t mean that you have to volunteer every bit of information. Timing and a sense of tact can be very useful in not hurting someone unnecessarily. But lying to someone in order to avoid hurting them is not showing them love.

Lord Jesus, you are the Truth incarnate. If I want to count myself as a follower of you, a “little Christ,” then speaking the truth in love has to be my hallmark. By your grace, we can make it happen.

1 comment:

  1. hey Keith, no posts?? I really enjoyed reading through these. I am going to book mark your page so I can start keeping up with it. We need to get the word out more so more poeple can get on board.