After over 65 years of ministry, we have developed the top 27 questions people ask us so we would like to share these questions each week for our weekly blog and share the answers as a resource for you all to use in your ministry, churches, and family.
Top ? #23 What Does the Bible Say about Honesty?
Answer: God instructs Christians to live in such a manner that no one can accuse them of doing wrong. One of the most important ways we can do this is to live honest and sincere lives and to tell only the truth in every situation.
Honesty seems to no longer be highly valued in our society. In recent years we have seen that lying and deception are common practices among our governmental and business leaders. People seem to have taken an attitude that it is alright as long as you can get away with it and nobody finds out. The Bible, however, makes it plain that believers in Christ are expected to be truthful and sincere at all times.
The most well-known statement in scripture about honesty is the ninth of the Ten Commandments which says, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:16. While the command primarily speaks of giving true testimony in court it supports the principle that God demands truthfulness always.
The need for Christians to be truthful is founded in the character of God Himself. We are told that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18). Jesus Christ is described as the Truth (John 14:6) and the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of truth (John 15:26). Likewise God’s word is described as the Word of truth (John 17:17; Ephesians 1:13).
Satan on the other hand is described as a liar and the father of all lies and there is no truth in him (John 8:44).
Christians are told to tell the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). The following verses teach us not to lie.
Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another. Leviticus 19:11
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. Ephesians 4:25
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices. Colossians 3:9
People are usually very disappointed when someone makes a promise and then fails to follow through on what they have said they will do. Other passages speak of the importance of being true to our word when we make a promise or commitment.
Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. Matthew 5:37
Above all, my brothers, do not swear–not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned. James 5:12
An important principle regarding truthfulness is that God expects Christians to live exemplary lives so that unbelievers have nothing about which to criticize. When someone tells a lie it is often something that can cause people to become very upset and angry.
In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. Titus 2:7-8
Being honest and showing integrity in all we say and do is an important element of the Christian life. We should do all we can to be known as honest people that are trustworthy and faithful to our word.
Please read the following verses: Zechariah 8:16; 1 John 2:21; 2 John verse 7, 1 Peter 2:12; 1 Peter 3:16