Holiness & the Truth, Pt. 10
Proverbs 4:23-24 states, "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you." Yesterday, we examined the holiness and the motives of our hearts. Heart motivations are essential because they direct our actions toward God and others. Today, I want to examine our mouths.
In this Scripture verse, a deceitful and perverse mouth is synonymous with a crooked, corrupt, and distorted mouth. It is a tongue that twists the truth, goes against its original state, is turned away from what is good, and acts contrary to all evidence. It is a mouth degraded by unsound principles and moral values. WOW!
In 1st Peter 1:16, God reiterated His command from Leviticus 11:44, "Be holy, for I am holy." So we must first determine what the character of God is regarding what He speaks. God is truth. Consider the following:
· John 14:6, "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'"
· John 16:13, "When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth."
· John 17:17, "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth."
· Num. 23:19, "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent."
· Ps. 119:160, "The entirety of Your Word is truth."
And there are a plethora more in Scripture. God never lies, never needs to repent for something He's said, and every word He speaks is true. If we are to be holy, then truth matters!
In a world where words are distorted and tell only half of the story, truth has been relegated to the back burner, and we're ALL guilty of it. I know everyone wants to blame the media, and they are culpable. However, when did you last forward a post on social media before checking out its veracity? When did you last speak words such as, "I'm so stupid," over yourself, or even curse others? Truth is not subjective to you; it is objective and from God alone. Therefore, when we act contrary to the truth and then turn around and speak against the lies others tell, it's no wonder we are labeled as hypocrites.
Inviting God back into the time, space, and matter He gifted us requires that we walk in truth. That means "little white lies" are just as abominable as the larger ones. Remembering our study on motives yesterday, walking in holiness means that we speak unadulterated truth, regardless of whether fudging it a little will make us look better. If someone did more work on a project, say so. It means that we refuse to align ourselves with that which is contrary to the Word of God, even if it means we look bad to those in our home, school, workplace, or nation. Being people of truth means that we don't give in to lies for the sake of "keeping the peace."
Now hear me out. If you're going to be a person of truth, you better know what the truth is. You don't need to jump on every bandwagon because it is a current popular opinion. That's the thing about truth; it's eternal and doesn't sway or bend with every new philosophy that comes along. Truth is the bedrock of holiness, and once you've discovered what the truth is, holy living becomes doable. Hint: see the verses above. God's Word is truth. Anything that speaks or acts contrary to what the Word of God says is untrue. Not partially true or mostly true. That is like saying someone is "mostly dead." You're either dead or alive; something is true or not true. The safest way, then, to know you are walking in truth is to, as Jesus did, only say and do those things that the Father is saying and doing (John 5:19, 6:38, 10:30, 14:31).
In 1626, Harvard University was founded with the motto, "Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae," translated "Truth for Christ and Church." How far it has fallen from its original goal that, "every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisedome, Let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seeke it of him (Prov. 2:3) [sic]."  That need not be the case for us. Let us be those of whom it can be said endeavored always to walk in truth, not giving in to doctrines and philosophies of men, but adherents to the Word of Truth.
Lord of Truth, I come before You acknowledging that I have not always walked in truth. I have even embraced that which is not true for my own gain. I am asking You, Lord, to forgive me. Please, help me, Holy Spirit, to be a person of truth because You are truth and Your Word is truth. I never want to dishonor You or Your Word by speaking and acting contrary to it. Please help me to stand boldly for truth even when everything around me acts contrary to it. Thank You that You help me in all ways to conform to the image of Christ. In Jesus' Name. Amen.