One of the phrases I repeat often as a parent is “it is always better to tell the truth, especially if you have done something wrong.” Usually if my girls have done something wrong, I am either already aware of what they have done, or I will quickly find out what has happened. Covering up our wrong doings with lies is something that our human condition often leads us to do even though it is not a beneficial practice. Learning this lesson the hard way, is sometimes the only route to discovering the dangers and difficulties of lying. I’m sure most of us can recall a time, likely as a child or young adult, when we were caught in a lie.
In Proverbs 12 there are several verses that speak directly about the evils of lying and deceit. Let’s take a moment to specifically reflect on verse 19 where the writer states, “Truthful words last forever. But lies last for only a moment.” This verse really struck me as I read the passage. The truth will always come out. Truth outlasts any false claim, any lie that has been told. Throughout history it has been proven time and time again that whatever the circumstance, lies can only hide the truth for so long.
Then moving on to verse 22 the author states, “The Lord hates those whose lips tell lies.But he is pleased with people who tell the truth.” This seems pretty straight forward; in fact, this is a commandment that has already been given to God’s chosen people. Moses received this command as one of the ten at Mt. Sanai: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16) In simpler terms, you should be truthful. You would think this to be a simple and obvious direction. Telling the truth really shouldn’t be all that hard. Yet, we still find ourselves in situations where we are untruthful. We want to make ourselves appear better than we are. We don’t want to get into trouble for something we’ve done wrong. Perhaps we believe that just a little fabrication won’t do that much harm, but Proverbs 12 shows us that is not the case.
The words we speak are a testimony to those with we are interacting. We become a reflection of the light of Christ that is within us when we speak truth to others. Consider the power the truth could have in your own life. What might happen if you take a moment to own up to a mistake you have made? Taking the time to honestly admit a wrongdoing could mend a broken relationship. All it takes is a moment of truth and saying we are sorry. What if you take a moment to be more honest with yourself about something you have recently been struggling with? I hope you will consider the value of sharing truth today and in the days ahead.