How Do We Really Practice True Honesty?
As with the other commands, it isn‘t enough not to lie. We must be willing to tell the truth. Now this is a dangerous statement, because some have taken it as an excuse to unnecessarily hurt someone. Your wife‘s new haircut looks ridiculous to you, but she happens to love it. Don‘t tell her how bad it looks, which is an opinion. Tell her it‘s really unique. This is the truth, and your taste is subjective, so the fact it looks bad to you doesn‘t make it so. The call to tell the truth is not license to nail someone you don‘t like.
There is sometimes the need though to confront a brother when he is in sin, for his own sake.
”Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should re- store him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted“ (Galatians 6:1 ESV).
If we really love someone, then we may have to do the hardest thing, which is telling the truth (in love).
Being honest is really an important part of our witness, in that, if those around us know we are honest, they are more likely to come to us when in time of need. If we are trying to teach the unbeliever that they can trust Christ, then don't they have to be able to trust us?
Application: What are some ways that you can think or to speak the truth, or the necessity of truth?
It is only when we deal with truth, that we come close to perceiving reality. The Biblical Illustrator says it this way:
”If our thought does not exactly correspond with… reality we are in error, and error is a mischief to us.“ … ”the more we follow truth the nearer we are to God.“ 3
Have you ever thought of it in this context? While we recognize sin breaks off our fellowship with the Father, lying is unique in that it is the antithesis of everything God is. We are called to being known as truth tellers, as truly honest individuals. As we love God, and as we love others, we will tell the truth. And, we will tell it in a constructive and encouraging way. Let our lives be typified by the truth that is modeled by Christ.
”You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.“ or do anything that could be considered lying for ”Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight.“ ... ”Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.“ (Berean Literal Bible)
Remember, we claim to be of Christ, and he said of Himself: ”I am the way, and the truth, and the life ...(NLT)“ And so with David, we should pray: ”Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long (ESV).“ (Exodus 20:16; Proverbs 12:22; Ephesians 4:25; John 14:6; Psalms 25:5).
- Exell, Joseph S., The Biblical Illustrator, ”Exodus,“ Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1975, p. 396. )233
Exodus study to be continued.
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