The Virtue Of Truthfulness

September 29, 2013

The Virtue Of Truthfulness

    “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another” (Ephesians 4:25).

Truthfulness is the foundation upon which is built a well ordered and properly functioning society.  A society without it is in a state of lawlessness and chaos.  If you aren’t truthful you will be marginalized by those who know you because they can’t trust you.

We hold in high estimation those who are known to be truthful.  To be truthful puts you in a category apart.  You will be rewarded with privileges and distinction.  People are looking for those in whom they can trust.

God is truthful.  Titus 1:2 says, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.”  We read also in Deuteronomy 32:4 “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Therefore, since God is truthful, to be untruthful is to be ungodly.  Many times in the Bible mercy and truth are mentioned together.  Psalm 85:10 is one of many examples.  “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Therefore, to be untruthful is to be unmerciful.  Righteousness and truth are also put together.  Proverbs 12:17 says, “He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.” Therefore, to be untruthful is to be unrighteous.  Truth and faithfulness are also put together.  “O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.” Therefore, to be untruthful is to be unfaithful.

Being truthful adds quality to our life.  A liar lives constantly with guilt.  He is fearful that he will be discovered for what he is.  He  feels guilty before God because he knows that it is a sin to lie.

Many times people lie because they are cowards.  At times it’s easier to lie than to tell the truth.  A lie is used to cover up the truth.  It takes courage to be honest.  We tell lies to cover up our failures.  We tell lies to save face.  If we are guilty we have to humble ourselves to tell the truth.  Sooner or later the truth will come out.  It’s better to be honest and face the consequences if need be.

Many times liars are hypocrites.  They put on a front.  Sometimes it’s possible to do that without words.  It’s just giving a false impression.  It can be done by the way you dress, by the church you attend, and by the people you choose to be your friends.

We should always tell the truth, but that doesn’t give us liberty to tell everything we know.  People with character know how to keep things in confidence.  If it isn’t necessary to say it, then maybe it’s best that you don’t.

There are times when we are under obligation to tell the truth.  It’s a crime to tell an untruth when we are under oath in a court case.  The word for it is perjury.  We should make it one of our convictions to tell the truth, even when we aren’t under obligation.

When businesses or factories are looking for someone to fill a position on the work force they most often look for someone who is truthful.  If you meet all the other qualifications, but it is known that you aren’t always truthful, you most likely won’t get the job.  It’s unfortunate, but at times employees find themselves in an awkward position when they are expected to lie.  Men and women of character are willing to quit the job rather than lie.

To be consistently truthful also means that we keep our promise.  That is the quality of being dependable.  If, for some reason, you can’t keep a promise you have made, you need to go to the one you made the promise to, and ask for forgiveness.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to think of a situation in which it would be more honorable to tell a lie than to tell the truth.  Some years ago some were promoting what was called “situation ethics.”  By that, they said whether you tell the truth depends on the situation.  Fortunately, that way of thinking appears to have died a slow death.  We should always choose the way of truth.  Proverbs 3:3-4 says, “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:   So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.”

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