Last week we looked at some of the negative consequences of lying. As we discussed, lying damages our relationships with others and our relationships with God. We ended, though, with a peek at the wonderful effects of honesty! Today we’re going to look at some other blessings of honesty. For instance:
The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. (Proverbs 15:4)
Our tongues have great power, and a deceitful tongue can crush a spirit in a number of ways. Clearly, lies told specifically to hurt someone can crush that person’s spirit. But that’s not all. As we discussed last week, our lies can also crush the precious spirits under our authority –/, by destroying our credibility, their trust and/or morale, and potentially their characters as well. And our lies can also crush our own spirits, by quenching the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. But the opposite is also true: an honest, healing tongue gives life. It gives life by rightly rewarding honesty and hard work in others. It gives life by setting a strong example for those under our care. And it gives life by bringing us closer to God and involving us in the life-giving work of His Holy Spirit in our lives.
An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. (Proverbs 24:26)
I love this simile. Just as “a lying tongue hates those it hurts,” so honesty can be a beautiful act of love.
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:9-10)
Lying indicates a return to the old man. Honesty, on the other hand, brings us closer to God and His good design for us and our relationships. As new creations, we are being renewed in God’s image – and honesty is part of that process.
A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. (Proverbs 22:1)
This proverb questions what we value. Is gaining wealth (or privilege, or our way in some petty matter, or whatever we’re after) worth ruining our reputations over? God says no. And, ultimately, it’s God’s approval that we should seek. Honesty doesn’t just improve our reputations in the eyes of others, but – far more importantly – in the eyes of God.
And so, finally, it’s important to look again at how God feels about lying. (As Jesus asked, “How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44)) And while He tells us in Proverbs 6 that He hates lying, that’s certainly not the only place He mentions it. Consider just a couple of examples:
The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. (Proverbs 12:22)
Truthfulness is a delight to the Lord. Think about that. Oftentimes we detach ourselves from Scripture by focusing on rules and forgetting their purpose: Our relationships with God. Don’t make this mistake. Your relationship with God is your most important relationship, on earth and for eternity. Given that, shouldn’t you want to do things that delight Him, instead of things He detests?
Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth. (Proverbs 16:13)
God, as the ultimate King, takes pleasure in us when we’re honest!
So this week, consider your level of honesty in all of your interactions. “Make it [y]our goal to please Him” (2 Corinthians 5:9). Prayerfully consider, too, how any damage you’ve caused by lying can be undone.
Next Week: hands that shed innocent blood
Last Week: a lying tongue, continued
Start of the Series: (becoming) closer to God through Proverbs 6
Want to read more?
Start of the wisdom series: (becoming) wise, part one
Start of the role model series: (becoming) a role model, part one
Start of the stewardship series: (becoming) a good steward
Start of the wife series: (becoming) a godly wife
Start the fully submitted series: (becoming) fully submitted