Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. (Ephesians 4:25, NKJV)
In this familiar Bible verse, a reason to be honest with one another is given in it, with another reason given just prior to it. “Therefore” draws our attention to what was just said, namely, that we have “put on the new man which is created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). When we heard the gospel and “learned Christ,” we were taught to put off the old person of corruption and “deceitful lusts,” and to be “renewed” in the spirit of our mind (Eph. 4:20-23). We choose to be honest and to stop being deceitful. Honesty is a choice of faith. Secondly, we tell the truth because we are members of each other in the body of Christ (v. 25). The hand does not lie to the arm; the ear does not lie to the eye. Neither are Christians to lie to one another. As members of the body of Christ (His church), we are connected to each other – “members of one another” (Rom. 12:5). Christ (our head) knows when we do not speak the truth, so we ought not to try to deceive one another. Honesty is a choice we make because we think of others as better and more important than ourselves. Finally, be sure you do not lie to yourself. Deceiving yourself that lying is acceptable hardens your heart against truth and leads to eternal death (Rev. 21:8).
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight. (Proverbs 12:22, NKJV)
Some folks lie as easily as they tell the truth. It seems as if they lie when telling the truth would be easier. Why is this? I suppose there are many reasons why, but basically lying occurs because one’s heart is not honest. Words mean something, and when one speaks falsehoods it reveals a dishonest heart. Not only does today’s verse plainly say that God detests lying, it also teaches that our honesty is shown by our actions (how we deal with others). Solomon also said, “Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight” (Proverbs 11:1). A scale is an inanimate object that measures weight. In buying and selling, how one used the scales revealed either honesty or deceit. You see, dishonesty, whether it takes the form of lying words or deceitful actions, comes from a dishonest heart. An honest heart does not stop to judge whether or not to speak the truth to its neighbor (Ephesians 4:25). It instinctively tells the truth. If that cannot be said of you, then cleanse your heart of its deceit and treat others honestly. This will please God.
The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 11:3, NKJV)
The contrast in this verse is between being blameless and being devious in attitude and action toward others. It is the difference between honesty and dishonesty. Every day, we face split-second decisions that reveal whether or not we are guided by integrity. For example, do you give back the extra ten dollars of change the cashier mistakenly gave you? (If not, why not? It is not yours.) Do you protest and pay the full amount that is due when that same cashier undercharges you? (If not, why not? Honesty demands you pay what you owe.) Do you lie to close a business transaction? (Are you okay with someone lying to you in a business deal?) Do you give an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay? (Or, do you slack off when the boss is not around?) You see, straightforwardness and honesty must guide our values and our treatment of others. Integrity produces reliability, dependability, and trustworthiness. These qualities bring success to one’s life. But, the deceitful will be caught in their own net and destroyed (Psa. 35:7-8). When a person loses his sense of truth, fairness and justice, his integrity is ruined. Left unchanged, eternal ruin awaits (Rev. 21:8).