by Dr. Foster H. Shannon
I am repeating myself. I have said it before, and I will say it again that God is a marvelous Heavenly Father who cares greatly for our welfare. Thus, he gives us the Ten Commandments, the teachings of Jesus, of the prophets, and of the apostles. The teachings of the Bible are very strong regarding the importance of the truth. God wants us to be happy! Lying is condemned in the Bible.
Last November, we went through a rough experience in the USA in electing a President, in electing Senators and members of the House of Representatives. Governors of states were elected, members of state legislators were elected. We depend upon truthfulness from the candidates so that we may evaluate their worthiness. Some do not always tell the truth. When they lie, they render us a great disservice. However, we should not call mistakes lies. John tells Mary that the sun rose at 6:10 this morning. Actually it rose at 6:30. John was not lying. He was mistaken, he actually thought that 6:10 was correct. (By the way, most of us make this kind of mistake. We need to do our best that what we say is accurate.)
Our God has made it clear in the Bible that lying is a sin and that the results of lying can be catastrophic. The ninth commandment: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16) You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another (Leviticus 19:11) Jesus then said to the Jews had believed in him, If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31)
Ambassadors were sent to Washington by Hirohito, the Emperor of Japan, in early December,1941. They assured our government that their purposes were peaceful. They were still in Washington, 7 December 1941, when the Japanese viciously attacked Pearl Harbor. They lied, and the result was a terrible war that brought death and destruction.
Husbands and wives must not lie to each other. If they lie, they lose confidence with one another. Parents should not lie to their children, neither should the children lie to their parents. Managers must not lie to their employees, neither should the employee lie to his or her manager. The result can be harmful for the business and for the person who lies. Truth is essential to make things work right.
God means for his children to be people of integrity. They can be relied on for the truth, for reliability, for dependability. Teachers must tell the truth; otherwise they will confuse and harm their students. Pharmacists must be truthful to their customers, lest they lead them into harm. The one who lies puts himself in the bad position of telling other lies to support the first one. The statement of Jesus, “the truth will make you free” will make us free of the consequence of lying. We will be free of having harmed another person.
We are called to be witnesses for Jesus Christ. “But you are a chosen race a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (I Peter 3:9) Truth is the coin of the realm. We expect people to speak the truth to us, and when they do not we resent it. Our God speaks to us in truth. He is absolutely reliable. He can be fully depended upon.