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Proverb 19: 5

A false witness will not go unpunished, and one who declares lies will not escape.

I hope you are enjoying the book of Proverbs. It is the first book of the Bible I latched onto when I began studying the Word. This book of wisdom made sense to me. One is not required to mine the passages for the deep meaning. Solomon makes strong, clear statements. If there is anything hard about the Proverbs, it is in being the person who will receive Solomon’s wisdom and guidance.

Today’s verse is a good example. What is difficult to understand about this passage? It is not a lack of understanding that trips us up here. I am continually amazed, though, at how Christians have not put lying behind them. It is not convenient to be a truth teller. I certainly appreciate that. Sometimes there are consequences to telling the truth. Well, the consequences are usually tied to some other activity, an activity we would rather lie about than face consequences and that is where the genesis of lying often, well, lies.

Conversely, truth telling can have a positive effect on behavior. If you know there is a chance you will be questioned about an event, and you are a person who is wedded to the truth, you are more likely to behave in a way that allows you to avoid unpleasant circumstances. For example, I don’t like getting up early in the morning. However, I know there is an average chance that someone in my circle will ask me about my day and even ask what time I arose. Since I do not lie, I am more likely to push myself out of the bed in the morning. I do not want the consequences of having to confess that I slept in. When we allow ourselves the luxury of lying, we also allow ourselves the luxury of other misdeeds.

So, the difficulty is not in understanding. I mean face it; this passage is as clear as fine crystal. The hard part is obeying. We are like petulant children. We don’t want to grow up and face the consequences of our actions, so we lie about them.

God is listening to every word we utter. We have studied the power of words and I constantly encourage you to use positive, edifying words at all times. If we buy into the idea that guarding our speech is important, how can we justify using our words in a false and misleading manner? Afterall, lies are intended to mislead others. How can that be good use of our words?

Lastly, Jesus is the truth (John 14: 6). Shouldn’t that be sermon enough for us all?

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