“Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow!” (Proverbs 25:18-19)
Ouch! I would never hit anyone with an ax nor would I deliberately swing a sword or shoot someone with an arrow! Never! But I know that there are times when I have not been 100% accurate with my words. (It’s hard to verbalize my errors…) In those times, I know I didn’t mean for anyone to be harmed and I’m sure it was meant for good reasons. I may have simply been repeating something I heard about another person. I assumed what I heard was true, so I can repeat it right? No.
What if my words are false? According to God’s Word, our lies hurt others. There is nothing in these verses stated about motivation or excuse. There are no clauses or exceptions. When we lie, we hurt others.
Sometimes when you watch the sport stories on the news, you wonder if they are telling the truth. Do you remember these past lies from the world of sports?
Baseball Manager Tim Johnson of the Toronto Blue Jays told his players stories about combat in Vietnam and his personal experience. The only problem was that there was no experience.
In 1999, after being ejected for arguing a catcher’s interference call, Manager Bobby Valentine appeared back in the dugout sporting an eye black mustache and dark sunglasses. Valentine claimed he was never in the dugout.
In 2001, 12 year old Danny Almonte impressed the world with his 75 mph fastball which he displayed for the Rolando Paulino All-Stars in the Little League World Series. It was soon found that Almonte was indeed two years older than what the league allowed.
Of course there is not enough space to list those who said, “I’ve never used any illegal substances in training” and were later caught for telling a lie.
How many times have we heard athletes say something about their teammates or a coach that isn’t true? How many times have we heard coaches say something about their players, or their management that isn’t true? Have we said something about a family member, a co-worker, or a teammate that isn’t true? Have we stated something that isn’t 100% true about someone in our church or community that isn’t true?
Our unintentional and intentional false words can and will hurt others. “Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow!” (Proverbs 25:18-19)
So, let’s all admit that we can work on being men and women of truth. Ephesians 4:24-25 says, “Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.”
If you are wondering what you can give to people this Christmas, I have a simple gift idea. Let’s take time this Christmas to give a gift of honesty and love through the words we use. It doesn’t cost us anything to speak the truth! The value of this gift is greater than you will ever imagine for the recipient…and you!
For more reading, check out Psalm 15:1-3, Psalm 85:9-11, and Proverbs 12:16-18.