Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. Proverbs 12:19
History is not kind to those who peddle in ignorance or deceit. Not only does King Solomon say so but time has a way of exposing the truth even if it was obscured for a season… remember: truth endures.
Even Jesus talked about this when he met with Nicodemus the Pharisee in John 3. Jesus said, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” John 3:19-20
There are some who want hide what they are doing for obvious reasons. They don’t want anyone (let alone God) see what they are really up to. Some will discover a horrifying truth at the end of their lives, and it is this: There is a God and God saw everything. To quote Martin Luther, “This is most certainly true.”
Everything comes to light at some point and not only at the end! Lies, deception, half-truths, cruelty can’t be hidden even by the greatest magician. The truth will prevail because Jesus is true.
Yet, we seem to be struggling with the truth these days. In the past 30 years we have gone from truth being objective to completely subjective. What I mean by that is this, “What I hold as a truth may not be a truth for you.”
However, I am reminded of what God thinks of truth telling a few verses later in Proverbs…
The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are truthful. Proverbs 12:22
I don’t know about you, but that alone causes me to pause and think. I want to be one who tells the objective truth about everything and not some version of the truth that reflects my preferences and way of life.
Do you remember what God directly said about how we should talk about others? Let me give you a hint, it is found in God’s only top ten list in the Bible.
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:16 Us old school Christians often say, “Do not bear false witness against your neighbor.” God doesn’t want us lying about others.
Martin Luther expands this commandment in his explanation of it. Dr. Luther writes, “We should fear and love God, and so we should not tell lies about our neighbor, nor betray, slander, or defame him, but should apologize for him, speak well of him, and interpret charitably all that he does.”
God says, “Don’t tell lies about your neighbor.” Luther says, “Speak well of your neighbor or don’t say anything at all.”
If we could do this one thing in 2020, the world would be a better place. Don’t get me wrong, there will still be liars out there (Spoiler alert: there always will be). Let the liars speak for themselves. Remember: the truth will always reveal itself.
What does Jesus says about identifying people in this world?
Jesus said, “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 7:16-20
I’ve known some great liars in my life but I don’t talk about them because I can’t say anything nice about them. Their “fruit” gives them away anyway.
I am going to keep on following the truth wherever it may lead. Jesus hasn’t let me down yet and besides he is “the way and the truth and the life.”
God bless you,