The Verbs #21 (Be Honest)
A lying witness is unconvincing; a person who speaks truth is respected.”
Proverbs 21:28 MSG
To protect the guilty, a few identities in this devotional have been changed.
Maybe you have encountered a person, or maybe more than one, like what I’m about to describe. This is the person that is only telling the truth when their mouth is closed. Quite literally, I have watched people lie about lying. Everything that is stated, typed or conveyed by this person must be sorted through a filter. You’re not sure what is truth and what is a lie. It is hard to have emotion about much of what this person is saying to you. I have encountered more than my share of people that are unconvincing. Once you’ve lied to my face, I go to one of the unlisted gifts of the spirit. The gift of suspicion, which means everything that person tells me, or that I hear from them, is suspect. It is false until proven otherwise. That is a sad state, because what happens if they are telling the truth.
“Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.”
Proverbs 21:23 MSG
Truly, one of the main themes of Proverbs is literally one of the old adages that our parents would tell us as kids. God gave you two ears and one mouth. Listen more and talk less. I could also add that our mouth was designed and created by God with the ability to be closed, our ears were not. The book of Proverbs is reminding us that if we listen more and talk less, we bring peace into our lives; however, if we talk more than we listen, we often bring more trouble into our lives.
We are going to speak, but when we speak it should be with honesty. The scripture states that a person who speaks truth is respected! I may not enjoy, or like what a person is telling me, but I’d much rather have them tell me the truth. I may not like it but I will respect it. But I also believe when we speak truth, we should do it in love. Especially when using the Word of God to state that truth! The word of God is a sharp sword. Using anything as powerful as God’s word without love will destroy a person. Many people have weaponized the word of God. The purpose of the sword of the word is to cut away things that are harmful to us. That is love.
If you were in a burning car, strapped to a seat, unable to free yourself from the carnage and flames, I would use a knife to cut away what was keeping you in danger, so that you could free yourself or I could pull you through to safety. I may not know you, but I am operating out of love for you.
Truth does the same thing. Jesus declared that He was the way, the truth and the life. He has come to cut away the things that are endangering us, so that we can be free. Truth will set you free. We are the ones that God uses to introduce people to truth, so we need to make sure that we represent Him well. Introduce Him in love, but speak truth. We use the sword, the Word of God, to cut away things in our lives that have kept us trapped, locked up and hindered.
A beautiful thing about truth is that it never changes, it remains constant. It never runs with the crowds, is never exaggerated, and it is never a different version based on who you are. It is just truth.
I never want my testimony, or my experience with truth, to ever be suspect because my life, my mind or my story has changed for the worse! I want my words and my life to be respected, so I must operate truthfully.
In the King James Version, Proverbs 21:28 says, “A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.”
It doesn’t mean that He speaks constantly but rather consistently.
Let us be consistent in speaking truth in a lovingly manner!