Living on Purpose: A person is only as true as their word

Published 4:09 pm Wednesday, March 20, 2024

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By Billy Holland


We live in an age that tends to shrug its shoulders when confronted with spreading information that is not true. Instead of asking, like Pilate, “What is truth?” the postmodern man says, “Truth is relevant to each individual” or perhaps “There might be truth somewhere, but we cannot know it.” Those of us who follow Christ realize that not being ashamed of speaking lies is another dangerous deception that much of our progressive culture has accepted as normal. God is an absolute true reality. He is perfect in all of His ways, He cannot lie.

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Our human nature is infected with depravity and unless our carnality is controlled we can think bad things and speak lies without blinking an eye. Let us beware of becoming numb to sin. In the book of James the first chapter, it speaks of how someone might seem to be a Godly person, but if they do not bridle their tongue, their religion is in vain. The idea here is that the mouth reveals what is in the mind and the heart. If the words are corrupt, this is proof that the conscience has not been renewed through the transforming power of Christ. Integrity is embracing the truth about ourselves, honesty always speaks the truth to everyone else.

Our pastor recently taught on the commandment of Thou shalt not bear false witness. Of course, anytime something is said that is not true, it is a lie whether intentional or not. There is the old downright and dirty lie that is meant to cause intentional harm, but it doesn’t have to be a bald-faced lie to be a falsehood. There is no such thing as a harmless lie? A sobering component of being honest is that many people, even Christians tend to not be transparent with others, themselves, or God. Have you ever called in sick to stay home from work and were not sick? Have you ever exaggerated anything including your taxes? When you tell a story do you add extra details that you just made up? We have broken all the commandments because each one deals with issues of the soul.

Is there such a thing as a white lie? Have you ever tried to cover your tracks with lies to prevent being exposed? Do you distort your abilities and accomplishments to appear more successful than you are? Have you ever spread rumors and speculations about other people to tear down their integrity? I believe that most of us at some time or another have told things that are not true for some reason, but one thing is sure, no amount of lies can change the truth. God knows. Then we have the case of not speaking the truth when we have the opportunity. This is called a sin of omission. Shouldn’t a Christian desire to be honest and the first one to declare truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help us God?

The thought for today is not only about us telling the truth, it’s also about us believing the truth. If we desire to speak the truth, we must know what it is. Do we love the truth? Is understanding truth important to us? Sadly we’ve grown accustomed to being lied to, and many have become comfortable with the false notion that it’s a normal response to be dishonest. We witness the biased attitude of some media outlets as they report a news event. It’s not the truth that’s important to many people, it’s how information can be twisted to support a certain agenda.

How often do we ask God to reveal His truth to us? What about seeking God to let us see ourselves the way He sees us? Can we “handle” the truth? Have you considered that some people love their deception so much that it’s now a part of who they are? It’s interesting how we are ready to drink any lie that flatters us but reluctantly sip at truth that makes us feel ashamed. Even though Jesus in John 8:32 said that within the word of God, we can know the truth and it will set us free, it’s evident that many people are more comfortable and secure living within the fantasies of their illusions. All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered and accepted, but who will remove their mask and deal with the dishonesty and deception within themselves?

Dr. Holland is a minister, Christian author, and community chaplain. Read more about the Christian life at