The truth shall set you free | Faith | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | September 24, 2017 5:00 am
Last Updated: September 20, 2017 at 1:46 pm
Have you ever asked someone a question, definitely expecting to hear the truth, and the individual looked you square in your eyes, answering your question with a boldfaced lie?
What was your response to this obvious untruth? What were your feelings toward that person after that encounter? Do you realize that there are people around who lie so much that they believe their own lies? They just would not recognize the truth “even if it were to slap them in the face!”
The Word confirms in John 8:32 (ESV), “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” It further declares in Proverbs 12:19 (ESV), “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.” Therefore, when a lie is told, it has to be remembered in order to repeat it, but if the truth is told, it won’t be necessary to memorize it because it will come back to you naturally. Consequently, “…the truth shall set you free.”
There are several stories in the Bible that reference lying and how God dealt with those who were guilty. The story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11 is a prime example of how dangerous it can be to tell God the untruth.
Ananias and Sapphira tried to deceive God by lying. They said they had given God’s people all the money they received for selling a field, when in fact they had kept some of the money for themselves. However, God knows everything and sees everything, so it is impossible to fool Him. God put Ananias and Sapphira to death for lying. When the people saw it, they began to understand how much they should respect God and be truthful.
God does not like it when we lie to Him or to anyone else. An example in the Word of a servant of a man of God who lied on him because of his greed is found in II Kings 5:1-27. God used Elisha to help heal Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, of his leprosy. After he was healed, Naaman was so thankful that he offered Elisha a gift, but Elisha refused to take it. Later, Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, ran after Naaman and pretended that Elisha had changed his mind and did want a gift after all. Naaman happily gave Gehazi silver and clothing. Then God showed Elisha everything that had happened, and how Gehazi had lied. The punishment for Gehazi’s deceitfulness was the dreadful disease leprosy — the very thing of which Naaman had been healed. Gehazi not only lost the trust of his master, but he also lost his health (Kids of Integrity).
As it is clearly explained in these two Biblical examples, it is a serious matter when we do not tell God the truth. We can end up hurting ourselves and others. When one lie is told, then another lie has to be told to cover up that one, and it goes on just like a domino effect.
Being honest from the beginning can save a lot of trouble and problems in the long run. It is called accepting responsibility for our actions.
Here is a more modern example of accepting responsibility for our actions by telling the truth. This illustration, “The Dean Schooled Them,” is somewhat humorous, but a very powerful example to ponder and share:
“One night four college [students] stayed out late, partying and having a good time. They paid no mind to the test they had scheduled for the next day and didn’t study. In the morning, they hatched a plan to get out of taking their test. They covered themselves with grease and dirt and went to the dean’s office. Once there, they said they had been to a wedding the previous night, and on the way back, they had a flat tire and had to push the car back to campus.
“The dean listened to their tale of woe and thought [about it]. He offered them a retest three days later. They thanked him and accepted his offer.
“When the test day arrived, they went to the dean. The dean put them all in separate rooms for the test. They were fine with this since they had all studied hard. Then they saw the test. It had two questions:
1) Your Name __________ (1 Point)
2) Which tire burst? __________ (99 Points) Options – (a) Front Left (b) Front Right (c) Back Left (d) Back Right”
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)