Bible Society of South Africa
Frank Retief

Remember his strength – Day 21

Lying

Bible text(s)

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

5If you tell lies in court, you will be punished — there will be no escape.

Proverbs 19:5GNBOpen in Bible reader

22It is a disgrace to be greedy; poor people are better off than liars.

Proverbs 19:22GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Tongue

1My brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers. As you know, we teachers will be judged with greater strictness than others. 2All of us often make mistakes. But if a person never makes a mistake in what he says, he is perfect and is also able to control his whole being. 3We put a bit into the mouth of a horse to make it obey us, and we are able to make it go where we want. 4Or think of a ship: big as it is and driven by such strong winds, it can be steered by a very small rudder, and it goes wherever the pilot wants it to go. 5So it is with the tongue: small as it is, it can boast about great things.

Just think how large a forest can be set on fire by a tiny flame! 6And the tongue is like a fire. It is a world of wrong, occupying its place in our bodies and spreading evil through our whole being. It sets on fire the entire course of our existence with the fire that comes to it from hell itself. 7Human beings can tame and have tamed all other creatures — wild animals and birds, reptiles and fish. 8But no one has ever been able to tame the tongue. It is evil and uncontrollable, full of deadly poison. 9We use it to give thanks to our Lord and Father and also to curse other people, who are created in the likeness of God. 10Words of thanksgiving and cursing pour out from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, this should not happen! 11No spring of water pours out sweet water and bitter water from the same opening. 12A fig tree, my brothers and sisters, cannot bear olives; a grapevine cannot bear figs, nor can a salty spring produce sweet water.

The Wisdom from Above

13Are there people among you who are wise and understanding? They are to prove it by their good lives, by their good deeds performed with humility and wisdom. 14But if in your heart you are jealous, bitter, and selfish, don't sin against the truth by boasting of your wisdom. 15Such wisdom does not come down from heaven; it belongs to the world, it is unspiritual and demonic. 16Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is also disorder and every kind of evil. 17But the wisdom from above is pure first of all; it is also peaceful, gentle, and friendly; it is full of compassion and produces a harvest of good deeds; it is free from prejudice and hypocrisy. 18And goodness is the harvest that is produced from the seeds the peacemakers plant in peace.

Amongst the people of God, there should be no lying or untruthfulness. We belong to the One who said, “I am the Truth”, and truth and transparency should categorise everything we do.

Many of us will know the hurt, chaos and conflict that has been brought about by people telling lies. Perhaps, you yourself have been the victim of some sort of deceit. You then know how hurtful and shocking it can be.

We know that we live in a world of lies. Not only do our politicians and public figures often lie to us, but also we can hardly escape the falsehoods and deceptions contained in the small print of many of the documents we have to sign, just to live in this world. Our TV shows are full of all the things that break our society. Just think of the titles of some of the soap operas as you read this. They all speak to you of lies, deceit and unfaithfulness.

Proverbs 19:5 says, “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who tells lies will not escape.” We all know that lies and half-truths all eventually are found out, but how sad it is to see the characters of young people being forged and formed by living in an environment where everyone lives by lying to each other.

This is not so with us as Christians. We know, by instinct, that truthfulness should form and shape our lives. We know the truth of Proverbs 19:22: “… it is better to be a poor man that a liar”. We remember the teaching about the power of the tongue – how it can set a great forest on fire with a small spark (James 3).

Let us avoid lying at all costs. We follow the Lord Jesus Christ, in whose mouth no falsehood was found. Whatever others may do, let us always determine to tell the truth and be people who are known to be trustworthy and dependable, for Christ’s sake.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.16
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