The Bible Lesson About Honesty BF Blog

The Bible Lesson About Honesty

How honest are most people that you know?  Like me, I am sure many of you struggled with honesty before you turned your life to Christ.  We lied out of fear, and embarrassment, to show confidence, or to try to fit in. Regardless of the reason, it was by the power of Jesus that I learned to be honest with myself and others about everything. The Bible lesson about honesty helped me to have faith that the truth is more valuable than the lies I wanted to tell myself and others.

What is an honest person? According to Forbes, an honest person lies zero to two times per day. Intermediate liars lie three to five times per day and prolific liars lie six or more times per day. However, the Bible believes differently, and your experience may prove this.  I do not find it hard to believe that people lie about how often they lie. Most of the time they tell a white lie about the smallest things. I know many who bear false witness against others in the form of gossip. Others lie thinking they are doing the right thing.  What is a small little lie if it does not hurt anyone? You can rationalize that no one will know.  However, God knows.  It is a very important lesson to learn that this is below God’s standards for His people. Let’s unpack the Bible Lesson about honesty throughout the Bible.

For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 1 Peter 3:10 NIV This is a very good memory verse.

The Bible

The Word of God does not believe that mankind is basically honest.  I believe most people believe that they are honest. However, in my experience, people give you half the truth based on their side of the story.  Consequently, some people will lie to get you on their side or to make themselves look better.  The saying goes, there is your side, their side, and then the truth. This has always been my experience dealing with people who do not tell me the whole truth. This dishonest behavior tends to be a habit for them to the point they do not consider it to be sinning.

in my alarm I said, “Everyone is a liar.” Psalms 116:11

Friend deceives friend, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongues to lie; they weary themselves with sinning. Jeremiah 9:5 NIV

People in The Bible that Lied

There are people in the Bible used by God who lied.  Abraham lies about his wife being his sister. He was concerned that the King would find Sarah so attractive that he would kill him to have her. God had to intervene on behalf of the King, who was a man of God to prevent the King from sinning.

Joseph and his brothers had different sides to their story.  The brothers did evil to Joseph in their jealousy.  The brothers sold him into slavery and lied to their father.  They told their father he was killed by wild animals.  However, Joseph maintained his integrity and faith in God. Hence, God used him to save the world and the Jewish people from dying from famine. Genesis 37:4-33 NIV

And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. Genesis 45:5

Like Abraham, people will lie to save things they hold dear, including their lives.  Self-preservation is very strong in mankind. Joseph’s brothers made wrong choices and lied about it. Joseph made good choices and was rewarded.  God even reunited him with his family. 

God shows us the true nature of people in the Bible. This enables us to see the impact of lies. However, no matter how big or little a lie is it is still a lie.

Little White Lies

Little lies are still being dishonest. Whether you tell these lies to family members, friends, or co-workers.  A lie is a lie. It is nearly impossible to have a meaningful relationship or deep friendship if you are unable to prevent yourself from lying. You foster relationships by being honest in all your dealings with others. From elementary school to adulthood, we are taught the value of honesty.  My mom had a saying “If you lie you cheat, if you cheat you steal.”  I remember this today and bring it to mind when dealing with people.

Hiding Facts is dishonesty by omission.

Leaving out pertinent facts is lying. The person who trusts you is relying on your word.  They expect you to be honest with them. Presenting some of the facts is not being honest. In good conscience, we should always strive to present the full facts. In the story of Ananias and Sapphire and the story of David, the consequence of lying to God was death.

Here are the two examples in the Bible about lying by omission and the consequences of this action. 

Ananias And Sapphira

Ananias and Sapphira lied about how much money they gained from selling their property.  They were both put to death. This married couple lied to appear as if they were Christians. In fact, they attempted to deceive God instead of serving God. Acts 5:1-10 NIV

The land belonged to them so there was no reason for them to lie.  They obtained the money by honest means so there was no need for them to lie about the amount. They simply could have offered the amount that they wished to donate.

Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” Acts 5:4 NIV

David and Bathsheba

David did not lie to Uriah, but he did not tell the truth about Bathsheba’s pregnancy.  Instead, he devised plans to cover up his sin.  One plan was to summon Uriah from battle so that he could sleep with his wife and ultimately claim the child as his own.  When that plan failed David devised a more deadly plan.  This plan involved sending Uriah to his death on the frontline of battle.  God sent Nathan the prophet to confront David about his actions.  Everything David did including omitting the truth of what he had done displeased God. David immediately repented and God spared his life but not the life of David and Bathsheba’s son. Leaving out facts enabled David to cover up what He had done.  To cover up his sin. David was not being an honest man about what he had done. Hence, God was displeased with all that David had done. 2 Samuel 11:2-15 NIV, 2 Samuel 12:9-10, 13-14 NIV

“When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the Lord.” 2 Samuel 11:26-27 NIV

The Ninth Commandment

Finally, the ninth commandment Bible verse of the Ten Commandments tells us not to bear false witness against our neighbor. When we gossip about the deeds of others or their character we are bearing false witness. It is always the best policy to be truthful about and with others.  We are called to be faithful witnesses rather than to tell lies about others. For God commands us to love our neighbor.  This is the second most important commandment after Loving God. Jesus quoted these scripture references from the Old Testament.

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Exodus 20:16 ESV

A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies. Proverbs 14:5 ESV

And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39 ESV

Other Forms Of Dishonesty

You can be dishonest about many little things.  If the cashier forgets to ring up an item and once you realize it, you don’t bring it to her attention. This is not good fortune this is stealing. If you take supplies from work without permission that is stealing and is a form of dishonesty.  If you ring up someone’s order for more than the item is worth and pocket the difference, you are stealing and that is dishonest.  While playing Pickleball you call a ball out that is inbounds you are cheating to win and that is dishonest. If you lie about your income, job, or relationship status, these may be little white lies but it is dishonest.  If you make a habit of this you are not a follower of Jesus.

The Holy Spirit

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be our helper. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and our Advocate. If you are a person in Christ, the Holy Spirit can help you live an honest life. The Holy Spirit can convict us and help us turn away from our sins.  However, the Holy Spirit is also here to guide us. Therefore, we must be in the spirit to hear the Holy Spirit. We as Christians must become more aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit. This will allow the Holy Spirit to teach us and remind us of everything Jesus has said to us.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 NIV

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26 NIV

Father of Lies

Satan is the father of lies and the total opposite of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  Satan wants us to be habitual liars and to follow him. He wants us to be dishonest in all our dealings with others by speaking his language of lies and deceit. Therefore, we should avoid any such thing because it only leads us to carry out the desires of Satan. It leads us down the wrong path and away from God.

Our God is a God of truth. God cannot lie. God is holy. Lies and dishonesty separate us from His holiness. Therefore, we should seek God and not align ourselves with Satan. Pray and allow the Holy Spirit to help you in your weakness.

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. Hebrews 6:18 NIV

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26 NIV

Believing In Lies

In our weakness, sometimes it is easier to believe a lying tongue. Satan will prey on all our doubts and fears.  He will lie to us about who we are and what we can do. He will remind us of all our weaknesses, and we will believe him. Therefore, we need to arm ourselves against his schemes. Be reminded that God will soon crush Satan. Also, remember that you are a child of God and God is always available to help you overcome the devil’s schemes. God has overcome the world.

in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. 2 Corinthians 2:11 NIV

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. Romans 16:20 NIV

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 NIV

for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4 NIV

Recap

Make no mistake, the Lord hates those who are dishonest. Therefore, the next time that you open your mouth consider whether you have truthful lips. Nowhere in the Bible are there any instances where lying is the right thing to do? We are called to love our neighbor and that requires us to build a relationship based on truth and honesty.  As we have seen from various bible stories it does not go well for those that lie or are dishonest.

Additional Reading:

The Bible Verses About Talking Too Much

Understanding God’s Holiness And Ours

The Holy Spirit

Why Jesus Is Important

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