Today’s study addresses the issue of the importance of truthfulness and honesty in our lives as followers of The Lord Jesus Christ. The hard core truth is that we are not born honest and truthful. Speaking of the unregenerate condition, the apostle Paul wrote: “Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness” (Romans 3: 13-14).
As parents, we know that we need to teach our children to tell the truth for the mere fact that lying and deception is natural for them. In Jesus’ day, people were careful about telling the truth under oath, because they feared the punishment of perjury. But when it came to day-to-day conversation or dealings with one another, as long as they avoided swearing by God’s Name, they could rip off their fellow man without any sense of guilt whatsoever (Matthew 5:33-37).
Truthfulness and honesty are rare things in this day and age of false advertising in the market place (Proverbs 11:1) and false teaching in religion (2 Peter 2:1-3). We are living at a time when sports stars have lied about taking performance enhancing drugs and politicians regularly twist statistics on the campaign trails as a way of attracting voters. Who reading this devotional has never lied in their life or been lied to?
Lying and deception are sins that hurt people, ruin one’s reputation, and most sadly, dishonor our Creator and Lord. Jesus is The Truth (John 14:6). The Spirit of God is The Spirit of Truth (John 14:17). The very words of the gospel, whereby we are begotten by God, are the words of truth (James 1:18). On the contrary, this present world system is ruled by the devil (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19), whom Jesus called a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).
What Jesus is teaching us today is to be men and women of our word. Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no (cp. James 5:12). That is pretty clear cut. In a fallen world, none of us can ever live up to God’s standard of sinless perfection (1 John 1:8-10), but in our desire to follow Jesus we should make it our prayer and goal to speak truthfully with one another (Colossians 3:8,9). Our words should be “seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6) and meant to edify (Ephesians 4:29-32).
Lord Jesus, please help us to walk in Your strength and power. Help us to speak the truth in love. And above all, help us to glorify You with the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts (Psalm 19:14).