It Is A Matter Of Honesty
By: Brian A. Yeager

This article is of the utmost importance. Honesty has become a confused subject in the minds of many. I am not just speaking about worldly people either. Christians have lost control of their tongues (a matter we’ll address throughout this article) in that we (though certainly not all of us) speak without facts from time to time. This is a SHAME! Christians should NEVER open their mouths without speaking the WHOLE TRUTH (Colossians 3:9).

On more than one occasion, even here amongst us brethren at Sunrise, someone has told a story wherein he or she missed some details. Some have repeated matters that they’ve not verified. In any and all cases such as this means you’ve told something that is not true. If something is not true, that means it is a lie. If you think, for just a second, that you obtaining the wrong information and sharing it removes your liability, you are an absolute idiot. From the beginning of creation it has not been okay to share false information, even if we ourselves have been deceived (Genesis 3:1-18; cf. I Timothy 2:14)? Brethren, there is no “little lie” or “oops stories”.

Oops????

So, you were walking through the living room while the news was on and you heard a story about a mother (for the sake of illustration we will say her name is Kitty Hawk) who killed her child. You heard only part of the story. You heard the part where someone being interviewed said that the mother certainly killed her child. The person being interviewed was reportedly an “eye witness”. Later, you tell your husband, wife, child, etc. that “Kitty Hawk” (fictional name for illustration purposes only) killed her daughter. Your family members, using you as the source, tell others the story. Later, someone along the line corrects the story. “Kitty Hawk” (fictional name for illustration purposes only) was NEVER a suspect and is COMPLETELY innocent. What have YOU done? You’ve spread lies about someone. You’ve given a FALSE REPORT. Just because you heard testimony from an “eye witness” that should not mean ANYTHING to you. Didn’t false witnesses rise up against Jesus (Matthew 26:59-61) and Stephen (Acts 6:9-14)?

Giving a false report is sinful (Exodus 23:1, Deuteronomy 5:20, Proverbs 6:16-19, and Proverbs 12:17). God promises that you’ll be punished for this (Proverbs 19:5, Proverbs 19:9, and Proverbs 21:28). Once you have spread falsehood about someone you are a maul, a sword, and a sharp arrow (Proverbs 25:18). Yet, some brethren have done this very thing and when confronted about it responded by saying: “oops”. “Oops”… Are you kidding me? What if someone heard that you were a child molester, a crack addict, and a thief who loves to drink toilet water and eat dung? I know, “oops”, right? Brethren, when you spread falsehoods about someone else because you are too ignorant to know the facts behind a story, the shame is on YOU (Proverbs 18:13).

The Shame Of Speaking Ignorantly

Brethren, we should speak that which we do know and testify of that which we have seen (cf. John 3:11). We should never speak ignorantly (Proverbs 15:2 and Proverbs 15:14). If you do not know what you are talking about, SHUT UP (Proverbs 17:27-28). No, don’t laugh either. It is not funny. Brethren, it is not funny when we talk about things we’re ignorant of.

Another illustration… You are talking about computers. Let’s say for a moment that you are really ignorant of computers in general (some are and there is no shame in that at all – unless you act like you know something when you really don’t). There is a discussion you are privy to about a certain brand of computers. You overhear this discussion. Later, there are different parties discussing purchasing a computer. Now, even though you are ignorant about computers (again, just an illustration), you tell the two parties not to purchase this certain brand of computers because they are junk. You’ve said this because you heard someone else, who seemed to you to be knowledgeable about computers, say this particular brand is junk. One of the persons you said this to begins defending that brand you called junk. Your ignorance of computers quickly is shown in this discussion. Now, what do you think happened to your credibility? What do you think these same people will think if you try to share the Scriptures with them? Do you just like talking so much that you jump into any discussion you can even when you are completely ignorant of what is being discussed? It is not good for us to speak whatever is on our minds (Proverbs 29:11 and Ecclesiastes 10:12-14)!

Control That Trap

We have to control our tongues (Psalms 39:1, Proverbs 10:19, Proverbs 15:28, Proverbs 21:23, Ephesians 4:29, James 3:1-18, and I Peter 3:10-11), which at times become traps (Proverbs 6:2, Proverbs 13:3, and Proverbs 18:7). Some times, in fact many times, it is just best to shut up. It is not only your soul that is lost when you speak that which is incorrect, but your credibility is also ruined.

Don’t Ruin Your Credibility By Speaking Without The Facts

Your reputation matters to God and man (Proverbs 22:1 and Ecclesiastes 7:1). People need to see honesty in you (Romans 12:17 and I Peter 2:12). If you are known as someone who speaks without facts people will RIGHTLY conclude you do the same thing with the Bible. If you tell things that are not true (LIES), you have revealed yourself as a child of Satan (John 8:44). We want people to trust us. We want people to understand that we demand proof for all things we say and believe (Ephesians 5:10 and I Thessalonians 5:21). If someone cannot trust you with information that really has no impact on their lives, what makes you think they’ll trust you with information that will impact their souls?

Conclusion

“Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another… But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Ephesians 4:25 and Revelation 21:8).

Volume 12 – Issue 25 - March 11th, 2012