Faithlife Sermons

Honesty is still the Best Policy

The Ten Commandments  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Lying is a sin that doesn't reflect the character of God

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Open: Looking for examples of politicians who lie is not a difficult task. One well-known joke is to ask: “how can you tell if a politician is lying?” The answer is: “if his lips are moving.” Two examples, taken from both parties
Nixon: “I am not a crook!” Clinton: “I did not have sex with that woman!”
Transition: Sadly, the realm of liars is not confined to politicians. Even believers can be susceptible to the sin of telling a lie. It should not be the pattern of our lives, and we are to be persons of integrity that can be trusted.

Thou Shall Not Bear False Witness against your Neighbor ()

Explanation: The Law makes very clear that lying is a sin. The Israelites were commanded not to lie in open court against a neighbor. The Israelites were alsotold not to spread a false report (), they were to consider a lie an abomination to God (), and they were told that God hated a “lying tongue” ().
This was to protect an innocent party from being slandered. We are in a very real sense our brother’s keeper; we have a responsibility to uphold the reputation of our neighbor by refusing to tell lies or to spread lies about them. Slandering another’s good name is malicious, and God would not have His people involved in such activity.

God’s character is the main reason we are to be truthful

Explanation: We have all heard the phrase, “Honesty is the best policy” and in school we used to be taught the story of George Washington and the Cherry Tree. In spite of these, many still believe the best policy is don’t get caught and lie your way out of it if you can. This is at best, earthly, practical, moment-focused wisdom. For the believer, the issue should not be: can I get out of a jam by telling a lie so that I can avoid a negative consequence, but instead, the issue should be doing what reflects the character and nature of God.
God is the essence of Truth. He is totally free from anything that is false, and, by His very nature, He cannot lie (; ). Jesus made it very clear that those who practice deceit are still children of the devil () because Satan is the father of lies. The Word tells us that by our fruit you will know them, so it should be that Jesus people are people of integrity and honesty.

Those who lie as a way of life will suffer the consequences

God also makes it very clear that liars will not escape judgment. Everyone knows people who are liars, and we see these folks who lie and somehow get away with it. Most of us have experienced the frustration that arises from personally being lied about, or watching someone we care about being slandered. We hear these untruths being believed while the truth is either ignored, rejected, or suppressed and this is hard to endure. The reality is that this life is sometimes (many times) unfair and the truth doesn’t always come out.
This is where the Christian has the advantage in worldview. We know that this world doesn’t have the final voice. There will be a judgment, and Christ the Righteous Judge will set all things right (). And the frightening reality is that those who practice deceit as a way of life are heading for the lake of fire unless they repent (). So, as Children of the Light, we are to walk in the Light and we are to be people of truth ()
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