Theonce said, “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Matthew 5:37), “Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). The essence of the Lord is faithful. He likes honest people and said that only the simple and honest people shall enter God’s kingdom. So He requires that we become honest, make our words and actions fit the reality and deceive neither God nor man. When we read these words of the Lord, we are willing to be honest people. However, when we put it into practice in our daily life, we discovered that to be honest is not so simple as we imagine. We often cannot help but lie; though we strive to restrain ourselves, we are still incapable of attaining the requirements of the Lord. In order to solve the problem of telling lies, we even suppress our words so that we can avoid telling lies. But when keeping our mouth shut, we feel bad and distressed: Could it be said that to be honest is to be spare of speech? Always practicing in this way won’t do! We can’t help but feel confused: How can we be an honest person? What exactly shall we do to solve the problem of telling lies?
We often say “Mouth is the door of the heart.” Actually when the heart has cunning, the mouth speaks out the cunning words; when the heart has deceits, the false words come out of the mouth; so our mouth is prompted and controlled by our heart. If we only restrain our mouth from telling lies by force of will, we can only deal with symptoms but can’t deal with the root. I once saw these two passages in a spiritual book, “Why do people engage in such deceit? To achieve their own aims, and to achieve the objectives they desire. And so they adopt certain methods, which shows that they are not upstanding, and that they are not honest. At such times, people’s insidiousness and cunning is revealed, or else their maliciousness and ignobility. With these things, you feel that it is especially hard to be honest; without them, you would feel that being honest is easy. The greatest obstacles to being honest are people’s insidiousness, their deceitfulness, their maliciousness, and their ignoble motivations” (“To Be Honest, You Should Lay Yourself Open to Others”), “You can never discover what they mean or perceive the source or intention behind their words. You do not know their heart because in their heart they have their own story—this is insidiousness. Do you also often speak this way? (Yes.) What then is your purpose? Is it sometimes to protect your own interests, sometimes to maintain your own position, your own image, to keep the secrets of your private life, to save your own reputation? Whatever the purpose, it is inseparable from your interests, linked to your interests, isn’t it? Is this the nature of man? (Yes.) So is not everyone with this kind of nature akin to Satan? We can say this, can’t we? Generally speaking, this manifestation is detestable and abhorrent. You also now feel disgusted, don’t you? (Yes.) This represents the craftiness and evil of Satan” (“God Himself, the Unique IV”).
These words have clearly revealed the source of our telling lies. It turns out that in order to achieve our own purposes, we involuntarily lie and deceive people. We have been deeply corrupted by Satan, and Satan’s poisons such as “As a tree lives for its bark, a man lives for his face,” “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” and “Money talks” have become the root of our existence. We always live for our own vanity, reputation, status, interests, money, fleshly pleasures, and so on; as a result, in order to achieve our own individual goals or to protect our own reputation and status, we often lie and deceive God, deceive other people. For example, sometimes in our dealings with others, when we have done something that is not beneficial to others, we do our best to cover it up; therefore we lie and engage in deception. Sometimes for the sake of our own benefit or in pursuit of being looked up to by others, we can’t resist telling lies. From this we can see that if we don’t know the motivations behind our actions and words, nor resolve our treacherous nature, we can lie and deceive God at any time and in any place, and thus live in the sin of resisting God. Therefore, if we don’t want to lie, we should first know the purpose of our words and our intention, come to despise and curse our corruption. Only by doing so can we root out the problem and no longer engage in deception.
Besides, we all know that God can see deep into the heart of man: He very carefully observes our thoughts and ideas and all that we do; even if other people don’t notice that we are telling lies, we can’t escape God’s scrutiny. As the Scripture says, “for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts” (1 Chronicles 28:9), “The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly” (Proverbs 20:27). If we want to resolve the problem of telling lies and be honest, we should accept God’s observation in all things and examine our thoughts and ideas at all times. In this way, a heart of reverence for God will gradually grow within us; when we encounter issues, we will no longer dare to be deceitful for the sake of our own benefit, but instead, we will be able to consciously forsake ourselves and practice being an honest person in accordance with God’s words.
There is nothing that God finds difficult to do. As long as we sincerely rely on God and practice in accordance with God’s requirements, our problem of telling lies can be resolved. May we all make progress toward being honest and live out the manner of a true person. Glory be to God! Amen!