[CF Devotionals] 2010-11-21 - The Importance of Honesty

The Ten Commandments ~ Part 53
Ninth Commandment ~ Part 2

Additional Biblical Texts Related to the Importance of Honesty

In spite of the intent of the letter of the commandment, I don't feel it is going far a field to understand this as a prohibition against lying in general. Certainly much of Scripture speaks to the necessity of speaking the truth in situations not limited to just the judicial.

Some examples include:

"Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are His delight" (Proverbs 12:22).

"Therefore laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another" (Ephesians 4:25).

Notice, as we might expect, that the call is not only against lying - but also to speak the truth. Although some even abuse this, but we'll talk of this in a moment. Let's take a look at the Psalm of David, speaking to this same thought

"Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellow man, who despises a vile man, but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, who lends his money without usury, and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken" (Psalm 15).

Note that the focus here is a heart of truth. As with all things, it is the inward condition that must change first. Only this will change the outward actions. As with all the commandments, the bottom line is the call to holiness. If our walk is righteous, in tune with the will of the Father, then our actions will demonstrate this.

How can we claim to follow the God of Truth, and Christ, who is the Truth, and at the same time live a life typified by lies? The bottom line is: we can't .

Those who's walk is represented by a life of lies can not be of the saved. "If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth" (1 John 1:6). It is important to note that the operative word here is walk. This doesn't mean if we ever lie, we are lost. It means the one whose life is one of lies - is lost.

If, on one hand, Christ is the Truth, and therefore we must follow Him in truth, we must also remember it is Satan who is called the father of lies. When we lie, we are following after him, and those whose life is one of lies are of their father the Devil.

It is because we serve the God of truth, that of all sins, lying seems especially heinous - and also one we therefore fall into the most easily. The fallen nature of man seems to lead directly to "a lying tongue."

What are some of the ways that we find ourselves lying? How many times do we have someone make a statement like, "you know that place up North?" which we never even heard of. and we say "of course." Why do we do things like that? Can't it also be considered lying to use gossip, slander, libel or really even flattery - whether in words or in deeds?

To be continued.

Comments or Questions?
Geoff

[email geoff] GKragen@aol.com
http://www.cfdevotionals.org

Additional studies by Geoff
Podcasts of Studies in Matthew can be found at www.GKragen.com