Bible Society of South Africa

How to Live – Day 3

Lips that Speak the Truth.

Bible text(s)

24Never say anything that isn't true. Have nothing to do with lies and misleading words.

Proverbs 4:24GNBOpen in Bible reader

3Silence those flattering tongues, O LORD!

Close those boastful mouths that say,

4“With our words we get what we want.

We will say what we wish,

and no one can stop us.”

Psalms 12:3-4GNBOpen in Bible reader

36But their words were all lies;

nothing they said was sincere.

37They were not loyal to him;

they were not faithful to their covenant with him.

Psalms 78:36-37GNBOpen in Bible reader

25No more lying, then! Each of you must tell the truth to one another, because we are all members together in the body of Christ.

Ephesians 4:25GNBOpen in Bible reader

11No spring of water pours out sweet water and bitter water from the same opening.

James 3:11GNBOpen in Bible reader

6Your speech should always be pleasant and interesting, and you should know how to give the right answer to everyone.

Colossians 4:6GNBOpen in Bible reader

6The promises of the LORD can be trusted;

they are as genuine as silver

refined seven times in the furnace.

Psalms 12:6GNBOpen in Bible reader

Smooth talkers let words flow like a ball of wool unrolling. They succeed in making people laugh until they cry, with the wit and humour of their stories. Exaggerated stories by hunters about three buck being shot with one bullet; or Rubber, the mongrel dog, who flipped 180 degrees in the air when he spotted a lion, are eaten like hot cakes as the truth.

These types of stories have their place around the campfire, but in our daily dealings with people other principles apply. So seriously did David feel about lies, flattery, duplicity and boasting that he wished: “May the Lord silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue – those who say, ‘By our tongues we will prevail; our own lips will defend us – who is lord over us?” (Psalm 12:3-4).

Vine’s Dictionary explains that the contents of such discussions are perverse – the truth is biased, corrupted and distorted and changed to mean the opposite.

God was also not spared in the flood of insincere words. Asaph said of Israel: “But then they would flatter him with their mouths, lying to him with their tongues; their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful to his covenant.” (Psalm 78:36-37) No wonder that a father gave the following advice to his son; “Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.” (Proverbs 4:24)

There is one word that describes the nature of words that must come from our mouths: Truth (Ephesians 4:25). What imagery can describe it better than a fountain flowing with fresh water (James 3:11) or words seasoned with salt? (Colossians 4:6) Clean, sweet water quenches your thirst and freshly ground salt adds taste to your food.

We will do ourselves a favour if before we speak we remind ourselves of the nature of our Father’s words: “And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.” (Psalm 12:6)

You may find yourself in a situation where you are the victim of twisted truths or a victim of blatant lies and false stories that are being spread about you. Do not fall into the trap of launching a counter-attack with your tongue. Allow the One whose words are refined and pure, to fight your cause.

If you are perhaps the person who is damaging someone else’s integrity with scurrilous talk, the time has come for you to pray this prayer: Father help me to keep falsehood and wrongdoing from my mouth and lips. I want truth to govern my tongue.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.14.1
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