People tell lies to protect themselves—to avoid painful consequences, shame, or conflict. They lie to get what they want or to get attention. They may lie to make people think well of them or to keep from doing things they don’t want to do. We lie to keep from hurting the feelings of friends and relatives, to protect their image or their possessions. Yet telling the truth is critical for an orderly society. Truth-telling encourages and empowers others to also tell the truth, and together we both change and grow. Truth gives us a sense of integrity, peace of mind; it’s a sign that we love the other person and want the best for them. When we tell people the truth, they know we really care for them. It creates deeper connections, for when people see you are honest they are more likely to trust you and open up to you. Truth has its origin in God. We read in Psalm 12:6 that the words of God are flawless, like silver refined seven times. Jesus himself would say in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” In teaching His disciples and us in Matthew Chapter 5, Jesus said we should live with integrity so when we speak others will know our yes means yes and our no means no.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More