To Tell The Truth

Bible Book: John  8 : 44
Subject: Honesty; Truth

Some years ago there was a television program entitled, "To Tell The Truth". The program title implies that many people do not tell the truth. A survey revealed that 91% of Americans lie regularly. Some of the great lies are:

The check is in the mail.
It was good to see you.
One size fits all.
This hurts me more than it does you.
I will be with you in a minute.
The dress looks great.

The Bible has a lot to say about honesty. There are illustrations of honesty in the bible. There are illustrations of dishonesty. The most extreme example is the story of the couple in the New Testament that lied about their gifts to God and was struck dead. What if God used that technique today when we lie?

The bible says that God hates a lie. One of the most insightful passages is john 8:44. In this passage we are told who is at the root of dishonesty. The surrounding verses tell us who inspires honesty. Today, our lesson will deal with steps that will lead to honest lives.

I. Understand The Roots Of Dishonesty

A. Dishonesty Is Poison From Our Enemy

We have already seen that at the root of the lie is Satan.

B. Dishonesty Strangles The Very Life Out Of Us

The primary target of the enemy is our relationship with God. If he can get us to be dishonest about that he has won. He wants us to believe that I don't need God, or that I can't know God. We need to be honest about our lives. We were born to have a relationship with God. We are incomplete without it.

C. Dishonesty Is Promoted In Our Culture

Sociologists tell us we see or hear 200 lies every day. We have even come to expect people to be dishonest. In the political system we see this constantly. In business it is revealed regularly. For example, just try returning the excess change the cashier gave to you and watch their shock. Lies are ever present in the advertising business. They claim that if use their toothpaste or

Even in our schools we see this problem of dishonesty. A survey of 31 colleges and universities revealed that 15,000 juniors and seniors were interviewed on cheating.63% of science majors, 74% of engineer majors, and 87% of business majors admitted to cheating. 42% said they had a good reason to cheat. From the White House to the School House the truth is in trouble.

D. Dishonesty Is Present In Our Nature

Dr. Leonard Keeler, who invented the lie detector test, interviewed 25,000 people and came to this conclusion. He found that people are basically dishonest. The struggle for honesty is a spiritual struggle. Satan is the father of lies and God is the Father of truth. We have to decide daily whether we will follow our culture or our Creator. We must grasp the results of dishonesty. We have become highly skeptical people. We have been lied to so many times we question everything. We constantly wonder if we are being told the truth. We have lost trust. We don't trust very many people. We have become very insecure. We have wounded souls. When we have been lied to we are wounded. The hurt is difficult to erase.

We must review our own truthfulness.

Where am I being dishonest? With Family? With Work Associates? With Friends? With Myself?

Then I must ask how am I being dishonest. Slander or gossip?

Exaggeration? Shading the truth? Compromise?

Grudges? (Yes, not honestly dealing with a situation and getting beyond it are a form of dishonesty with others and ourselves.)

II. Be Realistic About The Benefits Of Honesty

A. Honesty Builds Character

Reputation is what others think of you, but Character is what you are when no one is looking. God is more interested in developing our character than any other area of our lives. Proverbs 20:7 states, "Good people who live honest lives will be a blessing to their children."

B. Honesty Develops Spiritual Maturity

Ephesians 4:15 reads, "We will hold the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ who is the head of the body." When I am honest I deal with the sin in my life that keeps me from growing.

C. Honesty Brings Security

Mark twain said, "It's easier to tell the truth, that way you don't have to keep track of anything."  Proverbs 11:6 "Doing right brings freedom to honest people, but those who are not trustworthy will be caught by their own desires." Pursue a close, daily relationship with God. The more intimate you are with God the more you will desire to be honest. It is tough to be dishonest when God is in charge of every day of your life.

Make honesty a priority this week. Make a commitment to practice honesty this week. When we are honest the rewards from God are tremendous.

He protects you. Proverbs 2:7, "He is their shield, protecting those who walk with integrity." He directs you. Proverbs 11:5,"The Godly are directed by their honesty."

He sustains you. Proverbs 12:19, "Truth stands the test of time but lies are soon exposed."


A newlywed couple from Chicago had opened their gifts. They put the cash received as wedding gifts, $12,000 in a suitcase. They left the suitcase on top of the car as they drove away. It slid off the car into the street. An unemployed man found the money. He searched until he found whose it was and returned it. The city of Chicago went crazy when they learned of this. Why didn't he keep the money, many asked? How could an unemployed man do something of this nature? When the story broke, he received job offers from Sony, the Hilton, Hyundai, Motorola, America Tech, and more. What will we do? Will we go the way of the world, or will we go God's way?