The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth. Proverbs 12:22
One of the first cartoons that I ever saw growing up was "Pinocchio." It is the story, as you may know, of a puppet that comes to life after an elderly woodcarver named Geppetto wishes for a child of his own. Pinocchio is endowed with a unique characteristic because every time he tells a lie, his nose grew longer. The message this characteristic of Pinocchio is telling us is, "A lie keeps growing and growing until it is as plain as the nose on your face." When we diverge from the truth, our lies tend to snowball, getting bigger and bigger until they result in lots of pain and destruction.
God hates it when we lie. Some of the strongest language that we see in all of the Bible is that the Lord "detests" lying lips. This word "detests" can also be translated as abhors, loathes, or vilely casts away. When they translated this word into Greek, the translators used a word meaning a foul odor that makes you want to run away. That is how God perceives it when a person lies. He knows the hurt that our lies cause His people, and wants it cast away. He wants us to get rid of lying, and instead, to embrace a life of truth. God delights in those who are honest with what they say. He knows when we live in the truth and keep from falsehoods, that we honor Him.
How can we pursue a life of honesty? What does it look like to have our belt of truth firmly in place? We have to make it a practice to guard our words. Instead of allowing ourselves to make promises that we can't keep, we have to be committed to being faithful. Then, before you are quick to speak, you have to ask the question, "Is what I am about to say honest?" This is important because we, at times, shade the truth when we haven't really thought something, and we respond too quickly. God hears everything that you say, and He cares about your words. It is a sobering thought that the God of the universe listens to every word that comes out of your mouth. Knowing this, though, will help you to examine if your lips are free from lying. When you mess this up, you have to be willing to repent. You have to come to your senses and ask God to clean you out again. If you take these steps, God will delight in the words that come out of your mouth.
Think through these four steps that we shared this weekend to keep the belt of truth firmly in place:1. Remember to keep your word.2. Rehearse before you speak.3. Realize that God is listening to every word that we say.4. Repent.When it comes to your communication, which one of these four steps do you need to work on this week? Select one that you need help with, and work up a plan in your notes to make some progress.
Read Proverbs 10:9-21 (NLT)
People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed.
People who wink at wrong cause trouble, but a bold reproof promotes peace.
The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.
Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.
Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding, but those lacking sense will be beaten with a rod.
Wise people treasure knowledge, but the babbling of a fool invites disaster.
The wealth of the rich is their fortress; the poverty of the poor is their destruction.
The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin.
People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore correction will go astray.
Hiding hatred makes you a liar; slandering others makes you a fool.
Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
The words of the godly are like sterling silver; the heart of a fool is worthless.
The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.
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