Summary: A sermon looking at the call upon Christians to tell the truth, to live in the truth and to realise that God delights in the truth!
We live in a society which is prone to exaggeration: think about this I found this in yesterdays Press, what kind of car is this? “The sportier, sleeker, you won’t want to stop. One look and you’ll be seduced by the curves and fine lines. With even more specification and features than you could ever imagine. “I’ve got quite an imagination, I hope they’re right, sorry back to the advert, “book a test drive, but be warned, you may want to book ahead.”
What car is this that seduces, with its fine lines that people are booking up to test drive. Audi, BMW, Lexis no none other than the Sportier, sleeker Honda Civic.
Not that I’m knocking Civics’ I’ve owned one myself, but did you pick up the exaggeration.
Or this how many stars out of five would you give this report, from Kate Rodger of TV3 talking about Michael Jacksons This is it, this is what she said. “It’s like watching one of the best live experiences ever seen.” That great it gained four and a half stars. Mmm slight exaggeration in her comments then.
From exaggeration to lies. Illicit Cola says this. Life wouldn’t be much fun without a bit of entertainment and mischief. Don’t grow old and boring – live life on the edge. Take a dirty big gulp of illicit and get amongst it! Illicit cola – it’s good to be bad.
Well the times I’ve been bad weren’t good. In fact it’s a complete contradiction in terms. I also know that you can have plenty of fun while keeping out of mischief and living life on the edge for me was in the outdoors not hyped up on caffeine.
Why these examples? Truth is an interesting thing and this is what we are going to explore today, there are four Proverbs in the book of Proverbs all grouped fairly closely together that talk of the value of truth and the negative points of lying, as well as a few hints on how to tell the truth. Let’s look at the proverbs now then spend a little time dissecting them.
12:17: “A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies.”
12:18: “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
12:19: “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.”
12:22: “The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.”
Now why spend any time at all talking about truth and lies, falsehood and the like?
Because in life we are going to come across the odd spin doctor, the odd yarn spinner, yip liars. I’m not talking about those who write fiction, I’m talking about those who are what can be referred to by many colloquial terms that I can not use from the platform, so I will say they are liars.
Just so we are on the same page, here’s a story about a famous story teller. This is an example of a piece of fiction.
Napoleon often told this story: Once, while visiting a province he came on an old soldier with one arm severed, dressed in full uniform. On his uniform the proud fighter displayed the coveted Legion of Honor. “Where did you lose your arm?” Napoleon asked. “At Austerlitz, sire,” came the soldier’s brisk reply.
“And for that you received the Legion of Honor?”
“Yes, sire. It is but a small token to pay for the decoration.”
“You must be,” the emperor said, “the kind of man who regrets he did not lose both arms for his country.”
“What then would have been my reward?” asked the one-armed man.
“Then,” Napoleon replied, “I would have awarded you a double Legion of Honor.” With that the proud, old fighter drew his sword and immediately cut off his other arm.
This story was circulated for years. One day someone asked, “How?”
Here is an example of a lie and it’s on going effects:
The United Press International repored of an angry Israeli judge who refused to allow a lady to be her own age. The 1975 story:
In 1955, Miss Melania Neubart decided she wanted to be 10 years younger in hopes of paving an easier road towards marriage. Claiming there was an error in the official records, Miss Neubart obtained a court declaration stating she was born in 1923 instead of 1913 (she would have been age 62 in 1975).
At that time, she went to magistrate’s court to change her year of birth back to 1913 and admitted she had lied the first time because she wanted to find a husband. Still single, she realized she was officially too young to qualify for a national insurance pension.
The judge refused the applicant’s behavior as “bold impertinence,” saying she made the court “an unwitting accomplice in the perpetration of a lie.”