Read John 3:33
“Always tell the truth.” Those four little words are ingrained into little ones’ heads almost as soon as they utter their first words. Most parents value teaching honesty. So why does it seem that adults stray from truth so easily? Perhaps it’s because honesty, rather than truthfulness, is taught.
Honesty and Truthfulness; Knowledge and Wisdom; Lie and Deception; Help and Compassion. Each pair of words we tend to use synonymously. However, examining each pair there is one common difference. The first word in each pair primarily deals with the head, while the second penetrates deeper to the heart. Truthfulness is deeper than honesty. Wisdom is the application of knowledge. A lie is a falsity, while deception is a motive. Help can be given even in the absence of compassion. The heart is what moves us to take action. Jesus was always more concerned about the heart.
From the beginning God knew that we would always wrestle with truth. When Satan entered the Garden of Eden, he didn’t just lie, his intent was to deceive. He is the father of all lies and there is no truth in him. In John 8:44, Adam and Eve were deceived because they acted on the lie- the lie that made them question what God said and why God said it. It was a lie that centered around facts and ignored the heart and the consequences. And that is the same lie that Satan still whispers in our ear.
One piece in our essential armor to defend against Satan’s attacks is the belt of truth. Paul didn’t call it the belt of honesty. We don’t just gird ourselves with lack of lies and sincerity, but with truth which calls us to action. Truthfulness puts feet to honesty. It’s what causes us to take the extra effort and return the overdue amount the cashier accidentally gave us, rather than just acknowledging that there was a mistake.
Before Jesus faced the cross, He prayed, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Jesus said that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Sanctify means to set apart or to make holy. Holiness is only accomplished by His word through Jesus Christ. But remember that truthfulness is shown. What greater demonstration of this than Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God is truthful and Jesus Christ, the Truth, died for us to make us holy by what He did!
We should be so thankful that we not only have an honest God, but a God who is full of grace and truth. A God who calls us to embrace the truth and always act with our heart, not just our head. So today, let’s not only always tell the truth, let’s always act on the truth! That kind of truthfulness will set us apart.